Jordan Peele directs Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams and Bradley Whitford in this horror about a black man who suspects something sinister when he visits his white girlfriend’s family home, which also doubles up as a razor sharp satire.
An intriguing corker this. As an exercise in paranoid thrills it tightens its noose with a Polanski level of perfection. And given its confident genre trappings it still marries its entertainment concerns with some very truthfully awkward interaction between its black and white characters, making sophisticated assessments on the current racial climate in America. Kaluuya shines (British audiences will remember him as tubby Tealeaf in BBC’s Psychoville though he has matured almost unrecognisably since), striking the right balance of intelligence and social discomfort. It stumbles just a little at the end, the ensuing violence once the trap is sprung is a little tame for horror aficionados. But it has the added palpable frisson as our hero fights for his very survival, that as a young black man covered in white folks blood, if the police do turn up, it certainly won’t be to rescue him. Smartly played, possibly the most important and engaging piece of African American cinema since Spike Lee’s heyday.