CITY PRESS REVIEW: Get Out

2017-03-26 06:02
 

Johannesburg - Comedian Jordan Peele takes us on a frustrating yet ultimately victorious ride with his race-based mystery horror movie. Get Out combines genuine thrills with a no-holds-barred critique of black-white relations.

The story centres on a white woman, Rose Armitage (portrayed by Allison Williams), who brings her black boyfriend, Chris Washington (played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya) home to suburban Alabama to meet her parents, whose superficially warm welcome masks an unthinkably dark secret.

A strange sequence of events unravel that lead to Chris fighting to escape as he discovers that black people are being hypnotised by Mrs Armitage and forced to become the servants of white families. Georgina, Walter and Logan are three such victims, and live in an unending state of bondage in which they are forced to perform physical and emotional labour to accommodate whiteness. They do this with a forced joyfulness, much like the way slaves were expected to be happy when serving their masters – and the way black people are still expected to be happy living under oppression.

Mrs Armitage puts them under hypnosis and banishes their consciousness to the “sunken place”, an area deep in the mind where a person’s body is paralysed and crushed by the weight of psychological trauma.

Mrs Armitage succeeds in inducing Chris into a vulnerable state. Satisfied, she then tells him to “sink through the floor”. As Chris is pulled into a state of paralysis, he is only able to observe his life through a grainy screen as Mrs Armitage utters: “Now, you’re in the sunken place.”

Peele tweeted earlier this month: “‘The sunken place’ means we’re marginalised. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.”

In this film, Peele blends race-savvy satire with horror to powerful effect – fearlessly so for a first-time director.

He addresses a new way white people have found to perpetuate the institution of slavery. The white characters in this film dangerously overestimate the degree of their own enlightenment.

In other words, Peele did not go for the easy target – the assumed-racist Trump voters – but rather the group who voted for Obama and always remind everyone that they would have re-elected him to a third term.

Call it payback for all the black characters that Hollywood horror movies have given us over the years.

Read more on:    get out  |  movies

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