Screengrab: Meet the parents horror show


Richard Lutz warns you there’s a good old-fashioned horror film on your flatscreen this week.

Cinemas should give you a free pillow and sofa to hide behind for scary films. I think it would be a great civil gesture for horror movies that turn your hair white or propel your stomach to the bottom of your heels. Get Out (Friday, Sky Cinema Premiere, 8pm) deserves that little gift before you duck in front of the big screen in a dark theatre or catch it at home. As we go to print, it’s up for two Golden Globe nominations – and deserves to win each.

This is a modern switched-on scary movie that gets scarier and freakier. It’s also a sharp take on race in America. It tells the story of Chris Washington (London actor Daniel Kaluuya, as above), a black New York photographerinvited to his white girlfriend’s parents’ upscale house in suburbia. But something strikes Chris as wrong…and as the story move on, it gets (as Trump would say) wronger and wronger as the tale descends into a modern horror story, but not without its dark comic touches.

Kaluuya (a track record in TVs Skins and also Black Mirror) gives the performance of his young career. He is chippy and sceptical at first as he willingly becomes the black guest in a white liberal suburban house. Then he descends into sheer fear, and then anger, as the plot twists and turns and explains why the black house staff are so docile, so strange.

Many say the movie is a simple metaphor to the US’s deeply divided race issue: the black man who simply doesn’t belong, and worse, is the subject of a social experiment that has dreadful motives. However you read it, director Jordan Peel has hit a rich lode with his first film. He made it for $4.5 million. It has so far grossed $254 million. If I use my handy dandy calculator, it would come out to a percentage increase of…well, a lot.

There’s strong support from Allison Williams as Chris’s girlfriend Rose Bradley Whitford (from West Wing) as the creepy neurosurgeon father Catherine Keener (double Oscar nominee in her cv) as the mother with a penchant for hypnotism and comedy star Lil Rei Howery as Chris’s best pal back in New York, who always seems to do his nut as he hears about his pal’s increasingly whacko stay in a suburban house of horror.

I also like the title of the movie itself. Get Out can mean three different things:

  • to leave quickly…Let’s get out of here
  • an excuse clause… The get out is a £1 million penalty
  • a rebuttal…“Get outta here! You gotta be kidding!”

Anyway, a shocker of a film. Kaluuya transmits fear so well that you are in the hot seat with him as the world goes violently insane. So, grab your favourite pillow, close the curtains and hide behind that sofa this coming Friday. And don’t look behind you.

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