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Movie Night – ‘Get Out’ less than expected due to far-fetched storyline

By Bradley Griffith

Every so often (maybe once a year) there is a virtually unknown film that pleasantly surprises you.  That unusually rare movie almost always has a low budget and, more often than not, is a drama or thriller. Unfortunately, “Get Out” is not that film.   It has all the necessary traits for such a movie except for the most integral aspect, it’s simply not good.  “Get Out” is now available for home rental.

Black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) are traveling to the country to meet Rose’s parents for the first time.  Shortly before they leave the city Chris learns that Rose hasn’t told her parents that she’s dating a black man and that he is the first black man she has ever dated.

Chris seems unsure of the trip, but even though his best friend Rod Williams (LilRel Howery) warns him not to go, Chris plunges ahead.  He’s in love with Rose and wants to meet her family.

Rose’s father, Dean (Bradley Whitford), is a neurosurgeon and her mother, Missy (Catherine Keener), is a psychiatrist and hypnotherapist.  They welcome Chris with open arms into their home.  They have such a large piece of property surrounding their house that they employ a black groundskeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson), and a black maid, Georgina (Betty Gabriel).

Chris is happy that he is not the only person of color in the household, but he immediately notices that something is wrong with not only the Armitages, but also with Walter and Georgina.  He can’t quite put his finger on what is so unusual about the whole situation, but Chris knows instinctively that something in that house is off.

Late at night Chris sneaks out to have a smoke and sees both Georgina and Walter acting strange in the middle of the night.  He then runs into Missy in her study.  Chris sits down a begins spilling his life story and deepest secrets to a woman he just met.  It’s not until the next day that he realizes she had hypnotized him.  The story only gets stranger from there.

I had read many good things from many people about “Get Out.”  It was supposedly a first-rate thriller/horror story.  In fact, the whole movie feels like a dud.  There’s no doubt that it’s an exceedinly creepy movie and that there are some tense moments in the movie.  The problem is that the story, particularly the explanation for all the strange things happening to Chris, is utterly ridiculous.

The reason you continue watching a movie like “Get Out” is not due to the quality of the production or great acting performances.  You avoid stopping a movie like this and doing something useful with your time because you want to see the explanation for everything that has been happening to Chris.  A great climax to the story might make it all okay.

Unfortunately, the resolution of the story was the worst thing about the movie.  It was absurd and outside the bounds of credibility.  There were also questions that were left unanswered.  For example, the filmmakers never explain why the movie is divided into white versus black.  Even adjusting for the big reveal at the end of the movie there is no logical, or illogical, reason given for the fact that Chris and the servants are black and everyone else is white.

To be fair, there are a few positive aspects to the movie. LilRey Howery is hilaruious as Rod Williams.  His performance is the best thing about the movie.  Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams were also good in their roles, despite the fact that Kaluuya was required to act out a ludicrous depiction of what it feels like to be hypnotized.  It was the story, rather than his acting, that made me laugh at the absurdity of the entire scene.

“Get Out” fell far below my expectations, mainly because the story, and the ultimate climax of the movie, was too far-fetched to be even remotely believable.

Grade: C-

Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.