Weekend at Marnie’s – ★★★★★
Jordan Peele is probably best known as one half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, namely the shorter one who wasn’t in “Parks and Recreation” and “Fargo”. With Get Out he leaves comedy behind, goes behind the camera and moves into the world of horror.
The film is the story of Chris, a young black man who is meeting the parents of his new girlfriend Rose (who is white and very well-off). He’s initially worried about the fact that they’re a mixed race couple, but she assures him it will be fine. Chris and Rose (played by Daniel Kaluuya, and Allison Williams) arrive and while Rose’s parents are fine, the housekeeper and the groundsman (both of them black) are actually the bigger problem as both appear to have a few screws loose. As things get weirder and weirder, Chris keeps his best friend Rod (the brilliant LilRel Howery) in the loop via regular phone-calls.
It’s at this point that the more of the plot that is given away the less of a thrill it might be. Rest assured that it involves hypnosis, racial stereotyping, smoking and cups of tea. Peele also wrote the script and it’s a superbly structured piece of genre cinema with every dramatic turning-point set up and executed perfectly. Plus it’s hilarious.
While LilRel Howery is the supporting star of the show, Allison Williams is also worth highlighting and shows she can do more than just be the selfish and manipulative Marnie from the HBO series “Girls”. Throw in the likes of Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford and you’re in very good company.
Peele is clearly a student of cinema and his influences are very apparent, and are as diverse as his own sketch comedy work, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Scream. He plays with our own awkwardness around race, and also this new idea of American liberal WASPs who are like totally 100% cool with race, but still feel the need to say how much they admire Barack Obama and Tiger Woods.
Seeing Get Out with an audience who are willing to go along for a thrilling ride is a must as you will gasp, cheer, smile and squirm together. We were lucky enough to see it as a surprise film where audiences only knew the genre of the film they were going to see, in this case, a horror. It felt quite fitting to see such a perfect embodiment of all that is good and smart about the genre representing it in the year 2017.
Released in Irish cinemas on March 17th 2017
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