Get Out

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of horror films, so when I suggested to a friend of mine that we go see Get Out she was stunned. But the hype and rave reviews all mentioned that it was a lot more than just a simple horror movie so we went to see it on Tuesday, after I made her promise that if I got very very scared she would hold my hand.

Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) has been going out with Rose Armitage (Alison Williams) for four months when she suggests a weekend visit to her parents’ house in the country. Chris agrees to go, but with some trepidation as Rose hasn’t told her white parents that he is black. Rose insists that her parents aren’t racist, that her father would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could, and Chris has no reason to worry.

When the two arrive at the Armitage’s large upmarket home Chris is a little disconcerted to see that the servants are black, but he is put at ease by Rose’s parents, Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford), both of whom are warm and welcoming. On the first night he sneaks outside for a cigarette and on his way back in is ambushed by Missy who gives out to him for smoking, saying that as she is a psychiatrist she could cure him of his addiction with hypnosis. She sits him down in her office and asks him questions about his mother’s death, hypnotising and then eventually paralysing Chris. He wakes up in bed with a start in the morning unsure whether the previous night’s events were real.

Later that day the Armitages have their annual garden party attended by their friends, all of whom are white. As Chris is introduced to them he becomes more and more disgusted by the racially insensitive comments they make and he eventually asks Rose if they can leave her parents’ house that night instead of staying over again as planned. But when they attempt to leave things get hellishly bizarre and even Chris’ worst fears are a day in the park in comparison to what the Armitages have in mind for him.

Get Out is more of a psychological thriller than a horror. There is no gore, nothing supernaturally freaky that makes you want to sleep with the lights on, and in fact there are several moments of real comedy throughout, many of which come from the character of Chris’ best friend Rod (Lil Rey Howery). Daily life in America for many black people is filled with a lot more real horror than anything this film has to offer.

Get Out is a brilliant satire of the ways in which white people who consider themselves liberals, who voted for Obama and are horrified by Trump, who condemn police brutality and consider themselves ‘woke’, can make life difficult and uncomfortable for black people. The film is a great commentary on race in America and thoroughly deserves the critical acclaim it has received. It’s in cinemas now – get on it!

Scary Movies

Someone needs a manicure (Image © Warner Bros.)

Unlike most of my movie related posts this one will not have a trailer attached to it. The reason for this is because I am the world’s biggest wuss when it comes to horror films. Thrillers I can take and I love crime shows like Criminal Minds. I can easily sit through wanton gangster violence such as Reservoir Dogs or Goodfellas. But as soon as things get supernatural, as soon as creepy children and out of tune music boxes come into play, as soon as a car breaks down in the middle of the night in the Outback, I’m outta there.

It started with a slumber party when I was aged eleven. I was in a friend’s house and someone put on Nightmare on Elm Street. Three hours later all of the other kids were fast asleep while I lay wide awake on high alert, every muscle tensed, listening for the sound of Freddy’s blade-nails scraping across the window. Then there was the time that I went to see The Exorcist and I spent half the film cowering behind my step-father’s shoulder listening to Regan’s terrifying pronouncements. For a month afterwards I had to sleep with the light on. I was aged twenty-two.

I pretty much avoided horror films after that until one night about six years ago when I was staying with my friend Ruth. She thought it would be a fantastic idea for us to watch Saw. I acquiesced thinking that perhaps I’d grown up, hardened up a little. I was wrong. Again I spent all night awake with the light on and seriously contemplated crawling into Ruth’s room and asking her to hold my hand until the sun came up.

I have admitted my defeat in the face of horror movies. As a grown woman I now know my limitations and I manage my viewing habits accordingly. If I see even a trailer for something that might freak me out (recent examples include Paranormal Activity and The Human Centipede) I look it up on Wikipedia and read through the whole plot. That way I get to know the outcome without having to watch the movie and my imagination doesn’t run rampant at four o’clock in the morning. I’d like to think I’m a courageous person but clearly I’m deluded.

What about you? Horror movie fan or foe? And if you are a fan, then why? I’d love to hear the other side of the story.