Review / ‘Get Out’ (MA) ***

YOU might be forgiven for expecting an echo of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” when Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) tells her photographer partner of some four months Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that it’s time to meet her parents in their remote country mansion and assures him that they will welcome him regardless of his colour.

But “Get Out” owes nothing to any predecessor.

A brief but unexplained prologue begins a powerful horror movie that, while it doesn’t overdo its nasty bits, deserves recognition as a leader in its genre. Its writer/director Jordan Peele delivers a subtle message about racism packaged in a clever plot that will work best if you don’t know much more than that about it.

And I’m not going to spoil the film’s ability to deliver by summarising its plot. All I’m prepared to say is that it has a quality cast, an intelligent dramatic argument, characters displaying interesting but unexplained behavioural and personality quandaries and quirks, leading to a denouement that I found admirable for its economy of delivery and the credibility of its presentation.

And while it contains sequences that may distress the squeamish, its accumulation of subtle tensions is the real keystone of its horror qualities.

Leading the film’s fine supporting performances are Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener as Rose’s parents and Milton “Lil Rel” Howery as Chris’s foul-mouthed airport security officer buddy Rod.

For filmgoers wondering why the prologue unfolds to the accompaniment of Flanagan and Allen singing their second-most-remembered duet “Run Rabbit Run” (their enduring theme was “Underneath the Arches”), that does have a thematic link to the plot and an explanation in the climactic sequence.

At all cinemas

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