A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.
Even simple relationships get complicated, once more people get involved. But, when an entire family involves itself in a plot to scare the bejesus out of you, and then have an additional plan to ultimately rearrange your brain function, there is almost no chance that you will come out unscathed. This seems to be the foundation of a crazy love story between a white female and black male that builds into a racially charged movie that touches on most every stereotype of the black man.
As the movie opens, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), is packing his bag for a weekend trip to meet his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. While she goes down a verbal checklist of what he should have in the bag, he casually asks if she has mentioned to her parents, that he is black. While Rose says that she didn’t think it was necessary, she begins the stereotypical protocol by mentioning that her dad would have voted for President Obama for the third time if he had been able to run. Even though Chris has an uneasy feeling in his gut, he never has enough guts to turn the offer of the trip down because he wants to make Rose happy. Even after confiding to his best pal Rod Williams (LilRel Howery), who tries to discourage him from going, he still feels good enough about it to take the risk and insists that Rod care for his dog until he returns in good order.
The scary turn of events begins on the road when they are driving and a deer flies out of nowhere and hits the car and Chris gets out to see if it is still alive. When he realizes it is still alive but moaning, they contact the trooper who comes to the rescue and then begins to racially profile Chris who wasn’t driving at all. Soon after arriving at Mr. and Mrs. Armitage’s (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keene) home, the Neurosurgeon and Psychotherapist begin their pre-op screening of their daughter’s new man who happens to be black. To add insult to injury, their son Jeremy has his own initiation in mind, and once the chain of horrific events begins, everyone, including neighbors, friends, and other family members, get their turn in pulling Chris aside to welcome him into the fold and assure him that his being black is a non-issue, although they are making a big issue of it. All bets are off when Chris starts to do his own research with his dog-watching buddy Rod (LilRel Howery), after the black male and female staff act a little too peculiar for his own liking. When Chris tries to leave the family home after things become too unbearable, he realizes that Rose is a part of the entire scheme to trap him and he also discovers that he is not the only black man that Rose has dated. As the family prepares to take Chris down for the count, he finds a way to escape, and one by one eliminates each of the family members that had already decided his fate. While he is struggling to find a way out, his buddy LilRel has become a detective in his own right, trying to put pieces of the puzzle together that have caused his pal to disappear. In the end, Chris is rescued by LilRel, his TSA buddy who has put all the clues together to help out a friend in need.
While Director Jordan Peele has put together an insightful thriller with plenty of twists and turns, the massive stereotypes seem to be tireless renditions of the same old black vs white indifference that is mainly too serious to joke about. To his credit, the characters play their roles very well and the humorous defiance of the flawed human beings causes the audience to laugh even when the painful reality isn’t quite as funny.
Available On Blu-ray & DVD Tuesday, May 23rd