Swanner: After 5 months together, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is heading away for a weekend with his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family. Her family lives in a secluded estate, with all the extras, including a black housekeeper and groundsman. Chris, being black himself, feels out of place as he navigates though this white suburban nightmare weekend. Chris starts to suspect something is wrong when every black person he meets seems off. First question I have is why would you go away for the weekend after being together only 5 months?
Judd: Shut up! That is my question! And the answer is YOU! YOU would go away on a weekend to meet the family after five months, you crazy, needy, victim-of-love. “I’m going to meet his family, I hope they’re not weirded out because I’m older than they are!” So on and so forth, squish, squish, squish. But otherwise, any NORMAL man would probably be a little reluctant to meet the family – especially when he’s the first black boyfriend the woman has had.
Swanner: That certainly wasn’t very informative. The film, directed and written by Jordan Peele, who is best known for his comedy, gives us some very scary and even creepy moments. He still keeps us laughing, mostly through conversations on the phone with Chris’s cousin Rod (Lilrel Howery). The rest of the cast includes Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones and Stephen Root.
Judd: Oh, it was informative. I just exposed you for being a love junkie willing to do anything for someone that pays you the least little bit attention. “Wear this blindfold and ride in the your windowless van? How romantic!” Outside of the implausible setup, the movie clocks in at 1h 43m, with nothing much happening in the first hour. The pacing and the way the story slowly unfolds reminded me more “artistic” horror movies – Rosemary’s Baby, as an example. But unlike the artsier films, the plot wasn’t intricate or strong enough to support the pace.
Swanner: It comes to no surprise to me that you thought the film was too long. It went over your 86 minute mark, and we all know that means you could have cut 20 minutes out. The beginning was a bit slow but it was creepy enough to keep me entertained. The third act was as scary as it was funny. I think for a directorial debut, Peele made a really good movie.
Judd: I enjoyed the movie and I think it’s refreshing to see a new horror movie with a political message like the classics of the 70s and 80s — The Purge movies don’t count! The final act, when all is revealed, has a great twist and gets satisfyingly bloody. I wholeheartedly recommend the movie, and a great directorial debut from Peele. I hope to see more from him.
Swanner: 3 stars
Judd: 3 stars