Eppler: In "Get Out," white liberal racism is scary

Eppler: In "Get Out," white liberal racism is scary

Good horror and good satire each have to do the same thing: make the audience uncomfortable - whether it is a growing sense of dread or challenging world views. "Get Out" expertly pulls off both in one of the best movies of the year so far.

Chris and Rose, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams, are a newish couple. When they decide to go spend the weekend with her parents, he is already worried because Rose hasn't told the folks he's black. Rose, being a proud progressive, says it shouldn't be a big deal. 

What Chris discovers in her parents, played wonderfully by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener, are a couple of well-meaning, if awkward, folks living in a wealthy suburban neighborhood. The only black people Chris sees behave... oddly. 

Like some of the best Hitchcock, this is the kind of movie that turns up the heat slowly as Chris starts to realize something is very wrong. By the time he figures it out, it's too late.

If that's all writer and director Jordan Peele was up to, it would still be a fantastic little horror movie. His ambitions are much higher by making racism his movie monster. But instead of going after the easy racist types, Peele targets well-intentioned white liberal racism: they tell Chris how they voted for Obama, how much they love Tiger Woods, and they give him compliments all rooted in the fact they only see him for his "blackness." They are only trying to relate to him on that level.

Peele, who cut his satiric teeth in four seasons of the tremendous sketch comedy series "Key and Peele," uses white liberal perceptions to fuel a horror plot that is funny, scary and surprising. 

It is a stunner of a first movie that will surely be taught in college classes dealing with race and film.  

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