Tag Archives: horror/comedy

Get Out (2017)

24 Feb

Let’s say you’re on the road to meet your girlfriend’s parents for the first time. This situation alone is the nightmare of many, but let’s imagine for a second that they might – heaven forbid – be a bit racist. Not the Alabama-redneck, confederate-flag-toting kind of racist, but more like the passive-aggressive, educated white “we voted for Obama, we promise!” kind of racist. This is the premise for the new horror comedy Get Out; the terror here is not sourced from some demonic supernatural entity or schizophrenic masked serial killer but from ol’ fashioned disdain of having a white daughter who is currently dating a black man.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is naturally a bit apprehensive to meet Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents after hearing that he is, in fact, the first person of color she has ever dated. Followed by some hilariously awkward conversations with Miss and Mr. Armitage (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford, respectively) that only confirm Chris’ racial paranoia, and a few weird encounters with missing person Andrew (Lakeith Stanfield) and Rose’s brother (Caleb Landry Jones) seal the deal: something is wayyyy off about the Armitage family.  What starts out as a slow burn psychological thriller soon gives way to a twisty, violent nail biter as Chris peels back the layers of the Armitage family and does his best to survive his weekend away.

Make no mistake: Get Out is a serious-minded horror film, but also one that is self-aware and also manages to pack a biting (and often hilarious) socio-political punch. It’s a very bold film to say the least – especially in a post-Obama America where racial tensions were supposed to be long dissolved. Director Jordan Peele confidently holds his own as a feature-length director, and brings his witty comedic skills to the script.  Though some scenes feels unnecessary at times, most of what we see is a tightly-controlled and well-executed genre piece that plays at length with uncomfortable racial undertones. It’s an incredibly awkward mix that should’ve fallen apart at the seams (I can’t imagine how a major Hollywood studio even found the balls to fund something like this) but in the hands of Peele, everything works out beautifully and leaves me wanting more.

Bottom Line: A highly-entertaining directorial debut by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame, Get Out plays out like an extended College Humor skit in the best way possible. 

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Rating: 8/10 

Film recipe: You’re Next! + Tucker & Dale vs Evil + House of the Devil 

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Excision (2012)

24 May

Watching Excision is a bit like having a nasty, infected flesh wound.  You want to look away and stop picking at the damn thing, but you just can’t. The wound becomes more and more bloody, offensive and disgusting until finally it creates a lasting scar that stays with you forever.  But somewhere among all the blood and horror is a bit of playful fun – and that is where the movie thrives.

Bordering on John Waters-inspired trash-cinema, (we even get a cameo from the man himself), Excision is part coming-of-age story, part horror/comedy.  We see the story of a mentally disturbed girl who wants to become a famous surgeon, but she is trapped by her conservative mother and skeptical peers.  She is also obsessed with blood, dead bodies and loosing her virginity before her senior year of high school. What ensues when all these elements mix is a nice blend of campy dialogue, disturbing images, and teenage drama, with plenty of WTF moments injected in for good measure.

Stylistically, Excision is one of the coolest films of the year.  The bizarre images and scenarios culminate into an all-out freak-show, but unfortunately, the narrative falls flat after about 30 minutes.  There is no motivating drive for anything we see in Excision; no “rosebud” to keep things moving, and the film simply turns into a random-but-fun assortment of bizarre situations. When we do finally realize what is going on with the story, it is too late and the film ends at its most pivotal and dramatic moment.

Excision still has its interesting points though. The characters are all fun, especially the lead played by AnnaLynne McCord, and you can tell there is some smartness behind all the blood and gore.  Overall the film is best suited to fans of the camp/horror/comedy boat, although there is enough going on to keep most people entertained.

6/10 stars

Similar to: Bronson, Carrie, Teeth