A young black man, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is invited by his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to spend a weekend with her parents. Chris is worried whether Rose’s parents know he is black. Rose tells him not to worry. Her father would have voted for Obama for a third time if he could. However, his friend Rod (LilRey Howery) advises him to stay well away.
Rose’s family live in an old-fashioned, plantation-style house in a pleasant woodland setting but her parents seem nice enough, though we all know that grand old houses in isolated spots spell trouble in horror movies. However, they’ve forgotten to mention that they’re hosting a party that weekend. This provides the setting for some queasily cutting social satire, as the guests show more interest in his physical attributes than in his freelance photography.
You feel for Chris at this stage. Despite feeling acutely uncomfortable, he is desperate not to offend these guests who seem determined to treat him as less than a person. He calls Rod for advice, and is told he should get out. Now.
Chris and Rod are the heart and soul of the film. Chris is the nice young man meeting the family from hell; Ron is the slightly geeky best buddy who is left trying to work out what is going on. Everybody else is not quite as they should be. There’s something of the Stepford Wives about them.
This is all part of the film’s particular genius.
Get Out takes apparently ordinary objects and subtly layering them with unsettling undertones, building up layers of social and physical unease. The plantation-style house stands like a metaphor for the power relations between the races. The shiny black cars that the guest arrive in look like the sort of cars only vampires would drive. All of this leaves you knowing something is deeply wrong, but you’re not sure what.
Get Out is a clever modern horror which both subverts and affirms the genre, whilst also making time for some cutting social satire, combining the two elements in an unnervingly effective mix.