I am still a little creeped out at how believable the movie was. I admit, I have heard a few spoilers about the movie because of the various interviews I’d watched of Daniel Kaluuya. The background music, the setting, the actors and the way the story unfolded and I, the viewer was as shocked as Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) was when the truth was revealed.
The movie begins with a black man talking on the phone in a “creepy, confusing ass suburb” and as you see him walking at the sidewalk, a car passes byt, does a U-turn and starts tailing him. The black man freaks out quietly and starts to turn back. I was chanting, “don’t look back, don’t look back, run run RUN” when of course, he hears music and he looks back and the car door was open and BAM! He gets hit on the head from behind. Chucked in the trunk and the car drives away. I’m a little creeped out already. Great start.
The movie then shows the main couple, Rose (Allison Williams) and Chris. Chris is packing for a weekend visit to her parent’s place. She claims that he is her first black boyfriend and he’s a little worried about not warning her parents of him being black. She assuaged him of his fears and says that her family isn’t racist. So off they go to some small town. What’s great about the movie is that you see things that are really happening in real life. There’s this scene where a deer hits their car and their headlights and side mirror are busted. So, Rose calls the police. You see, Rose was the driver. So it’s normal to ask for the driver’s licence and registration but you see the cop asking for Chris’s. He seems resigned and used to it and does what he’s told. Rose stops him from doing that and tells the police officer that “that’s bullshit.” I liked her at this point. Yay, defend boyfriend from discrimination.
So they reach the house and we start seeing freaky stuff. Like the groundskeeper and maid. Who are both black, talk strange and have this creepy grin. Oh God, no. Too much teeth, guys. Chris realises this too. And as the movie progress, he gets the creepy vibes and I get A LOT of creepy vibes too.
The father mentions that his wife practices hypnotism and that she cured him of his smoking habit. That’s great and all but Chris declines. thankfully. Plus, we get to meet Rose’s brother who is also – you guessed it – a creep. During the night, Chris goes out to take a smoke. At the gardens, the groundskeeper, Walter seemingly comes out of nowhere and is running right at him but swerves right at the last minute. Freaked out, Chris heads back to the house when he spots the maid, Georgina staring at him but no, it’s just her staring at her reflection at the window and weirdly admiring the turn of her face. Okay, time to head back inside, NOW. He passes by some rooms when a table lamp switches on and you see Rose’s mum sitting on the armchair as if waiting for him. This is when the iconic scene where she hynoptises him and he is seemingly paralysed to the chair and enters the “Sunken Place.” The next thing you know, he wakes up gasping on the bed and is cured from his smoking habit.
Apparently, there’s going to be a party, a tradition first started by Rose’s late grandfather. Awkwardly, everyone there is white. While Rose and Chris make the rounds and start making casual talk, you see them all starting the conversation with remarks and comments that allude to Chris being black. For example, they say things like, “I would have voted for Obama for a third time” and “I do know Tiger. The best I’ve ever seen. Ever. Hands down.” It’s very awkward and tense for the couple. So, Chris takes a break from the crowd when he spots another black person. Chris greets him and expresses that it’s good to see a brother here. The man turns around and speaks to him in a weird way. And as the man leaves with his older white wife, it’s unnerving the way his handshake meets Chris’s fist-bump.
Chris retreats to his room to find his phone unplugged and dead. You see that as soon as he reaches upstairs, all conversation on the ground floor stops and they stay silent. Listening to Chris’s footsteps and looking up to the ceiling. Back upstairs, he suspects that Georgina unplugged his phone and after confiding in Rose, he calls his bestfriend, Rod. As soon as he hung up, Georgina appears right at the bedroom door and apologises for accidentally unplugging his phone while speaking in a formal and convoluted way, which doesn’t sound natural. What’s even weirder, is that tears start to fall unbiddenly while she laughs and repeatedly says no. The party continues downstairs, and an incident occurs involving Chris’s phone camera flashing while taking a photo of the only other black man at the party. The flash causes the man to lunge at Chris, all the while shouting at him to “Get out! Get outta here!”
Sufficiently alarmed, Chris confesses everything to Rose and wants to leave. Meanwhile, the rest of the family enjoy a game of bingo but it’s no ordinary bingo. No words were spoken but a portrait of Chris is next to the father, who acts like an auctioneer and the rest are seemingly bidding with bingo cards.
After the party, Chris starts to pack when notices an open cabinet door. Inside it, were photographs of Rose, of when she was a child, and then photo after photo of her with countless black men. Shockingly, the last photo reveals Rose with Georgina, who looks like a whole other person. He puts it back and turns to see Rose standing there and asking if he’s done packing. He tries to act normal and asks for the car keys to put his bags in the trunk. She proceeds to rummage through her bag. They go downstairs and the front door is blocked by the brother holding a lacrosse stick (really?). Rose is still looking for the keys. The mum appears and so does the dad. Chris knows he’s cornered and he’s desperate but Rose still can’t find the keys. Chris shouts at her for the keys repeated and finally he asks her for the last time, ” Where are those keys, Rose?” She reveals that she’s had them in her hands all along and he knows he’s trapped because she’s in on it as well. Crap! I don’t like her anymore. Chris lunges at the brother who holds him back and it all stops when the mum taps her teacup three times and he drops like a stone into the Sunken Place.
Waking up restrained to an armchair, a video starts to play where Rose’s grandfather talks about the Coagula, a service they offer to members of their group. Basically, the family has been transplanting the brains of the white elderly people of their community into young black people. However, a small part of the black person’s brain remains intact to keep the connection to the nervous system. But they remain only as observers while the transplanted individuals controls the motor system.
It all heads to a climax when Chris manages to avoid being hypnotised by plugging his ears and attacks the brother when he arrives to wheel Chris into the operating theatre. In an attempt to escape, Chris then kills the father and the mother who tries to attack him. Rose is seen on her laptop upstairs searching for her next victim. Chris manages to drives away in a car when he hits Georgina. He goes back for her and it proves to be a fatal error as she gains consciousness in the passenger seat and she, who is actually Rose’s grandmother attacks him causing him to crash the car.
Rose hears the commotion and comes out with a shotgun. Walter, who is actually her grandfather chases him. Trapped under Walter, Chris reaches for his phone and hits the shutter which causes the lights to flash. Walter stops attacking him and stands up. Walter turns to Rose and asks for the shotgun to kill Chris. With a shocking twist, he shoots Rose instead and then blows his own brains up (except not really, just a small part, the majority is still the grandfather). Living at the back of your own head and being trapped seems like a terrible ordeal. Death, it is. The movie ends with Chris’s bestfriend arriving and they drive away.
First of all, love that the movie had a happy ending. Fun fact, there are alternate endings to the movie. They first considered to make it more real by ending it with Chris getting arrested. But the director, Jordan Peele thought that “more woke” due to the recent police shootings of black people so he decided that a happy ending was needed.
Great acting by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. The nominations and wins by Daniel were well-deserved. And wow, Allison, the change in character as soon as it’s revealed that she’s evil was such great acting. Never knew that you were hiding such a biatch in there.
Finally, congratulations for winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay! And all of the countless awards won and nominated! ❤
Creepy factor: 10/10
Sources: Universal Pictures