ALWAYS keep the flash on (Get Out Review)

I wasn’t a devoted viewer of the hit comedy series Key and Peele, but I have enjoyed the few skits I did see and was aware of the show’s acclaim, citing its biting satire and relevant social commentary.

So when I heard that Jordan Peele, a noted comedian, wanted to direct a horror film, my interest was piqued. I love it when comedians take up something that is outside their spectrum; Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine, Robin Williams in every dramatic role he takes on, and Louis CK’s own show when it gets pretty deep. With Peele’s debut film Get Out, I gladly have another entry to add to that list.

The film follows Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya) driving down countryside with girlfriend Rose (played by Allison Williams) to meet her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Chris and Rose are an interracial couple and he voices his concern that Rose’s parents are unaware that she is dating a black man. Though Rose assures him that there’s nothing to worry about, Chris’ suspicions start to grow true as her parents and the housekeepers (all of them black FYI) act strangely around him.

From the first scene of Chris and Rose together, you know that the topic of race is taking center stage. But part of the brilliance of the film is the way Peele uses it as the source of most of the suspense, tension and some comedic moments sprinkled in the relieve said tension. You can almost see it start off as a skit for his show, but then it grew into something new.

Daniel Kaluuya has been a favorite up and coming actor of mine since seeing in the Black Mirror episode “500 Million Merits” and Sicario. He is likable, funny and shows immense star potential in this film, only complimented by his co-stars who are all up in their A-game. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Speaking of funny, a shout out to Lil Rel Howery for his role as Chris’ best friend Rod for providing some of the best comic relief I’ve seen in a while. Every scene he’s in has gotten the audience dying of laughter.

Get Out is an effective Social Horror film that is a breath of fresh air for the genre and inspires lot of interesting ideas. Jordan Peele has proven that he’s got as much talent behind the camera as he does in front of it and I can’t wait to see what other concepts he’s got in store. The cast nails their roles just right and the film gives out some interesting messages about the nature of race, relationships and identity. That twist at the end by the way is as bonkers, messed up and creepy as you can expect from the mind of Jordan Peele.

Side Note: To anybody who might find this film offensive or racist in any way or for any reason, I just got two words for you: Get Out

Rating: 8.5/10

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Beware the old people! (The Visit Review)

Horror film? Check. Found Footage? Check. Old people are the “monsters” of the movie? Check. M. Night Shyamalan directing? Check. It sounds like it supposed to be another disaster from the man who brought you The Last Airbender (*shudders), but to my utter and sincere surprise……

It was okay

That’s both saying a lot and not saying much for a Shyamalan film. You want to feel good that Shyamalan for once made a somewhat decent film, but come on! The man has been on a losing streak for the past decade at least. Even a “meh” film would have fared better

But as I said before, this film lands on “okay”. Let me guide you to my (and my sister’s) thoughts throughout the movie:

We follow aspiring documentary film maker Becca (Olivia Dejonge) and aspiring wannabe rapper Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) as they decide to pay a visit to the grandparents they never met because of the strained relationship between them and their mother Paula (Kathryn Hahn). Olivia wants to film the whole experience to hopefully submit it for film festivals and maybe a Oscar nomination (Oh….kids lol). The grandparents, Doris (Deanna Dunagan) and John (Peter McRobbie), appear heart warmed to see their grandkids, but as luck will have it, some things are going bump in the night. Weird noises appearing during sleep hours, grandma’s acting weird and grandpa’s acting paranoid. Let the hijinks begin!

Let’s start with the actors. Kathryn Hahn does a great job grounding the story for a such a minimal role. While the kids are at their grandparents house, Paula is on a vacation cruise with a new love interest and can only talk via Skype. Olivia and Tyler are great as the curious siblings who try to investigate the weird occurrences that happens after 9:30 pm and try to “survive” the week (in both senses of the word). Deanna and Peter are creepy if sometimes awkward as the grandparents who might or might not be hiding something from the kids and the neighbors

Let me take a brief pause and say that this film is not Shymalan’s “return” to greatness. The Visit is not The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable, it’s a little like Signs but with logic that actually works (Seriously though! Why would hydrophobic aliens come to a planet that is 70% water????). My sister had a pretty good grasp on the movie, as it made her feel “mixed” and I agree with her. It has it’s moments, but there were a bunch of times that I questioned the directional choices Shymalan made. At one point, I thought of it more as a waters down horror movie, that contains some scares that often get obscured by the other story elements. In my opinion, there was a little too much “free-styling” on Tyler’s part and Olivia expressing her cinematic techniques of the “documentary” makes it sound like Shymalan trying to tell us that he still knows what filmmaking is.

For a horror film, there a bunch of comedic moments stuffed in there. I appreciated it to some extent as some of the jokes fell flat or were too awkward for my (and the audiences) taste.

And now, what most of you might be expecting in any Shymalan film: The twist

I’m glad to say that for once, it doesn’t make the film fall flat on it’s face. In fact, it pushes the film further and makes sense. I actually managed to predict it, but it didn’t take away it’s effect. Without spoiling it, all I will say is that the twist definitely heightens up the creep factor.

Overall, I liked the film for trying to take a seemingly ridiculous plot and actually giving it some scares. The found footage gimmick is actually put to good use and the performances give the film its depth, humor and fear for some of these character’s well being.

Rating 3/5

Most likely to love it: Fans of goofy horror films

Most likely to hate it: The elderly