HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: DAY THIRTY-ONE – 10/31/18…HALLOWEEN!!!

HALLOWEEN – 2017: GET OUT

And here we are at last, friends and fiends (and both combined)! We’ve arrived at our entry from last year’s Halloween, and it was a game-changer. GET OUT was the brilliantly dark commentary on race relations in America that we thought we never needed. But writer/director JORDAN PEELE begged to differ, and thankfully, gave us a take on modern horror we never even considered.

 

Chris Washington, superbly underplayed by DANIEL KALUUYA (BLACK PANTHER, the BLACK MIRROR episode “Five Million Merits”) is more nervous than a black pizza delivery guy taking pies to a KKK rally. His beautiful girlfriend, Rose Armitage, (ALISON WILLIAMS, daughter of newscaster BRIAN) is taking him home for the weekend to meet her parents, and as he’s suspected, she hasn’t told them yet that he’s black. Strange and not-so-strange things happen on that trip out to the Armitage’s country home, including a stop by a local policeman. Whatever you think would happen in this case does go there, and gets shut down just as quickly by Rose; something we’d hope more ‘non-African-American’ people would do.

Chris and Rose make it to the house, where her parents are waiting. And Dean and Missy Armitage (BRADLEY WHITFORD and CATHERINE KEENER) aren’t just welcoming, they are accommodating to Chris almost to a fault, in that way that liberal, “color-blind” people sometimes have, that can border on the embarrassing. And Chris responds positively to them, even if they appear to be trying way too hard.

 

But certain indicators are present, that there’s a whole lot more to things than Chris is really being allowed to see.  Like the strange behavior of the Armitage “help”: their maid, Georgina, (wonderfully portrayed by BETTY GABRIEL), and the groundskeeper, Walter, (MARCUS HENDERSON).

And we couldn’t leave out Rose’s weirdly antagonistic brother, Jeremy, (the always-reliable CALEB LANDRY JONES), whose challenging demeanor towards Chris shifts uneasily between barely suppressed racism and an almost sexual fetishization of the power and strength he attributes to Chris.

But just when the weekend couldn’t seem to get any weirder, Chris has arrived at the same time the Armitages are throwing a ‘party’ for their closest friends, and when he’s introduced to them, the ROSEMARY’S BABY similarities start to come fast and furious, culminating in an unsettling encounter with one black man who looks strangely familiar, Andre Logan King (LAKEITH STANFIELD of SORRY TO BOTHER YOU) and his wife, Philomena, (GERALDINE SINGER). Chris, a photographer, takes Andre’s picture, and he immediately snaps, going into some kind of fugue state, in which he tells Chris to “get out!”

If you’ve seen this about ten times like I have, you know what happens next. If you haven’t, all I can say is this: get ready for the strangest and creepiest “game of bingo” you ever saw, a McGuffin of a twist involving overtones of Baron Frankenstein and more than just overtones of bigotry, and also to swear off of drinking tea for the rest of your life!

I can’t say too much more about the outstanding cast without really spoiling things, except to say that they’re all on-point, and some special kudos need to go to STEPHEN ROOT (OFFICE SPACE) as an important character at the Armitage’s ‘party’, and LIL REL HOWERY in a hysterical but all-too-relatable role as Rod, Chris’s best buddy who works as a TSI agent, and who doesn’t like the whole idea of going to visit Rose’s parents from the word ‘go’.

I found it pretty humorous when the conservative types bashed this movie as being “anti-white”, when it was just as pointed in its commentary regarding taking “ultra-liberals” to task as well. But what put GET OUT above most other horror films is that even without the politics simmering just beneath the surface, it’s still an out-and-out well-done psychological horror thriller, period.

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: Horror just a year ago delved into even more artfully unsettling territory, giving us the likes of HAPPY DEATH DAY, MOTHER!, IT COMES AT NIGHT, ALIEN: COVENANT, ANNABELLE: CREATION, LIFE, GERALD’S GAME, the movie version of King’s IT and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER.

And that about wraps it up for this year, poison ghouls! I hope you enjoyed this shambling stroll down Memory Lane as much as I did bringing it to you, and that you have some great plans for the holiday! As they said at the end of CREEPSHOW, “Until next time…”




Posted by Samuel Glass

1 comment

Thanks for this wonderful countdown to Halloween Samuel, I really enjoyed all your entries in this series and you covered most of my favourite movies from the years in question. Great job.

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