Horror film market is filled with cheap thrills or gore these days. The use of latest technology and stuff has made it all about getting you jump off your seat by disturbing loud noises, or getting you disgusted by disturbing loud violence. But in that dirty crowd, here comes a smart horror film, that's scary, funny and thought provoking as well. And you may be lil surprised (although not me!), but its the genius of Jordan Peele of Comedy Central's Key & Peele. Jordan is the writer and director of this brilliant film, which makes you go WOW, on too many occasions.
I'll say this out front, the spoilers about this film can actually spoil the film for you. It's more of a psychological thriller, so what you read next, can change your experience of the film. Just saying!
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is visiting his 4 month old girlfriend Rose's (Allison Williams) parents for first time. He's concerned that how will the white parents, Missy and Dean (Catherine Keener & Bradley Whitford) will take the fact that he's black. But Rose is confident and protective of him too. And on first sight, parents seem fine too. But something is off in their reaction and interaction with him. Not necessarily racism, but something weird. Something also seems to be going on with the two black servants in the house. But things get really weird when he gets to meet rest of the town folks, in a house party, which becomes racist and super weird and more... It becomes a question of life & death!
Is the town possessed? How weird are these people? Are they really racist or...? Who's against Chris and who's on his side? What the F**K is going on?
This film is not a supernatural horror film. Its a truly crazy psychological science-fi-ish thriller, that is actually scary too. Crazy as in, someone's craziest BS/joke becomes REAL, and it's terrifying! What's that BS? In the (paraphrased) words of Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), the TSA officer who's the only person able to decode this conspiracy, using his advanced detective skills he acquired from his TSA training (Peele cannot give up TSA, the esteemed organization. And I love him for that).
"In this crazy ass white town, white people are brainwashing black visitors, and using them as slave or sex slave!"
Yeah, it sounds crazy, or sketch from a Key & Peele or SNL. But that's exactly what's happening. Rose's parents are leader of a cult, which the entire town is part of. Rose brings new victims as her boyfriends & girlfriends, and then they get brain transplanted by Dean after being hypnotized by Missy. They transplant the brains of older & weaker people in town, in the body of these younger black males. And Chris is the next target!
The film is perfectly cast. Daniel and Allison make a perfect couple, but when the things turn around, both of them play there part beautifully. Either its being scared, or being scary, they do the job well. All other actors are wonderful in their roles, but the stand out performance of the film is the TSA super-agent Rod Williams (played by the amazing Lil Rel Howery). He's funny, he's crazy and he's just awesome. He deserves his own spin-off movie or TV show. He does the impossible. He makes you almost like TSA!
The film is beautifully shot and directed. It uses sounds, camera work and everything else to scare you. The amazing writing and the plot keep the tension tight and hot. But there are still several hilarious moments, which do not break the tension, but add to it. The moments that make you jump from your seat, or call out to the screen, or even cheers for characters are plenty. It's truly an iconic genre defining kind of landmark film.
So, if you ever thought that a horror film cannot be really scary & seriously funny, and also have a smart and interesting plot, you NEED to watch this film. And if you didn't think so, you still need to watch this true gem from the wonderful Jordan Peele, and give him a bow, salute and clapping with cheers. Great job Jordan, great job!!!