Guest spot: In Praise of Jordan Peele and “Get Out”

My Homi Jessica finally touched down in the UK. To celebrate, we went to a cinema in Covent Garden to watch Get Out. Let me say this, the experience was memorable. Here is Jess’ take on the film.

I was a big fan of Key and Peele, so I was pretty familiar with Jordan Peele’s brand of comedy. He and Keegan Michael Key consistently pushed the envelope with their show, but never pushed it further than what a medium like Comedy Central would allow. It’s amazing to watch him go from that show to creating one of the smartest, most timely thrillers in years.

This film isn’t just a horror film, it’s not strictly a very dark comedy either. It’s a commentary on how society views race and just how strong the power of suggestion really is. I watched this film when I was recently in London with my dear mate, Bites Choco/AKA Choco Teddy Bear/AKA Dalitso. My viewing was his third, so he was able to observe the film and my jumps and squeals and whisper yells [Choco sidebar: this girl was hilarious during this film].

Off the bat, I have to say that Get Out reminds me more of the Hitchcock-style thrillers of the 50s and 60s. It’s not simply going for the modern slasher aspect, it’s far more cerebral, though it does have its share of gore. If hypnotism, mind control, and the “sunken place” don’t hit you where you live, I don’t even know what to say to you. For me, as a person with past tragedies under my belt (especially at a younger age, even going back to the age that Chris experienced his trauma), it really stuck with me. I felt scared for myself in a way, even though it’s a film and it was a long time ago. This is something that Peele did so well, he absolutely made this a commentary on racism, both overt and subversive, but he also made it about digging out our weaknesses inside that we keep buried deep.

I picked up on the brainwash/Stepford aspect pretty quickly, and even though I had worked that out, the film didn’t feel stale. With every single revelation that came up, I was hungry for more. And I was actively rooting for Chris to take Rod’s advice to get the fuck out of the Armitage’s house [Choco sidebar: this is an understatement. Jess cheered on Chris as if she was watching Arsenal Football Club. Again, hilarious]

The cast of this film was absolutely on point, I can’t think of a single role that was miscast. However, Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener have both provided many years of warm and fuzzies that are not ruined forever, but I have to side eye them both a bit for the moment. I’ve never watched Girls, so this was my first real look at Alison Williams, and she was outstanding. Daniel Kaluuya was also perfect for this role, I felt his anxiety and his anger and his despair. The supporting cast was on point too, and I want to give a shoutout to Lil Rey Howery for his role as Rod. The decision to make Rod a TSA agent was another brilliant idea of Peele’s because most people/travelers kinda think these guys are dicks (and some are), but he flipped THAT stereotype on its head.

I’ve heard that Peele is done with comedy, and that’s a damn shame if it’s true, but I have absolute faith that he will be just fine in whatever medium he chooses to work.

And also, to whoever gave that one bad review on Rotten Tomatoes, fuck you with some antlers to your guts.

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