Directorial début of Jordan Peele. Saw it tonight and thought that it's a solid movie that you should see. It's well written and directed. The story combines commentary on race relations with horror and a few laughs. Great performances out of everyone... although the brother character seems to be acting like he is in an entirely different movie.
Yeah, the brother seemed just a little out of place, but that the performance was still fine. Casting was great, and despite initially being skeptical of Peele's horror-directing chops (having known of him strictly for his comedic work), the guy killed it, keeping it super tense AND funny, and I walked away terrified of white people. Strongly recommended!
my friend randall wrote a great article (which includes some interview bits with peele)
I really liked it. It was funny and creepy, then the last act goes bonkers. I highly recommend checking this out and it definitely delivered on the hype behind it.
Spoiler: I didn't understand why the groundskeeper guy who was taken over by the granddad ran at the main guy full speed in the night. was there any point to that? or just a cool gag for the movie. Did anyone realize that the dad is the bad guy from Billy Madison and the brother is Banshee from the XMen? furthermore, i just realized why Rose didn't want Chris to give the cop his ID
Last edited by mfte; 02-28-2017 at 09:36 PM.
I just came back from the theater and absolutely loved this movie. It was smart and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! Very unique.
I just saw this... I liked it. It was a very well made and adeptly directed horror movie debut.
That said, there's some HUGE plot holes in this.
Spoiler: OK, where to start...
First off, why the fuck are these people letting their relatives lounge around wearing their black husk host-bodies while they're trying to "recruit" a new option?
Why does Rose have a conveniently displayed box full of damning evidence that she's been seducing black men (and a woman) to be new candidates for the procedure? I mean, COME ON, a box full of ONLY the evidence? In the next room? With the door unlocked AND open?
Further... So the housekeeper and worker are actually replanted grandparents... wait, so these people had their consciousness transplanted into young black people, but then they do slave labor all day?
To that point, I guess someone could say "well, maybe they usually just lounge around and don't do work all day, and that was just a pretense put on while Chris was there to dupe him." Uh... No. If you're going to be putting on a facade to fool the person you're trying to kidnap, why risk that weirdness? What was grandpa running at full speed towards him for if not to provide a piece of "wait what the fuck is going on here?!" moment for him? Why not just have all the husks go somewhere else for a day or two while they take in a new one? Like Rose's dad says, "I know how it looks, white family with black servants." Yeah, it looks weird, and you know it... so why are you doing it?
Additionally, why did they let him go after the first hypnosis session? You already had him in deep paralyzed hypnosis... why did he wake up in his bed? I don't know about you, but if I met my girlfriend's parents and the first night they traumatized me and tricked me into going into some intense trance... and I woke up in a bed without restraints? I'm fucking OUT of there.
I mentioned this point to someone, and they said that maybe it was part of the procedure; that they needed a specialized form of brain mashing to achieve the results. Ok, then why was that not addressed in the movie? Also, apparently they don't, because the movie starts with someone being choked while walking down the street. Nothing subtle going on there, and if you let that guy wander around the next day, you can be sure he wouldn't stay around to see if there was ill will at foot.
The "cotton earplugs" thing was a clever twist, but come on at the same time. This is a modern setting; there would be cameras. Also, you would double/triple check to make sure the subject was completely subdued before removing the restraints. I know, this is not a plot hole exactly, but this is also kind of ridiculous oversight that we're being asked to accept.
Also, the Logan character... you bring your 'drone' around to this function where you're planning on creating another drone, and you don't think this is going to be odd? I get the point being made, but holy hell no. It's like they're trying to warn him! You don't show up wearing clothes that are out of a different century, speaking in a way that sounds insane and alarmingly old-school white, and just try to unnecessarily fit in with your neck tattoo.
If there's a reason for him to have been there, then why was it just fine for him to leave after the flash from the camera set him off?
It's obvious that a lot of "what the fuuuuuuck?!" moments were allowed before the discovery scenes, because the audience is still puzzled at the deeper mystery of what's going on here. With the reveal, these clues should not have been present. I mean, everyone might as well have shown up to the party wearing t-shirts that said "Hey, Chris, we're up to something, and it involves you!" They brought over a shell of a person who used to live in the same town as the guy they're trying to trick!
Also, regarding the chair that he dug the cotton out of... Why? If he's going to be moved shortly into a situation where he's to be surgically lobotomized, why not strap him to a gurney from the get go, and then just roll him in?
And while I get the message, why would you spout off a bunch of faux racial pandering to someone when you know (from Rose's warnings) that it's just going to fail to assuage his fears and instead make him tensely aware that you're all, at best, unintentionally racist?
All the same, I liked the movie. I also understand that it's an allegory, and that most of the actual events portrayed are meant to have symbolic resonance. I understand the messages on display. A lot of it was pretty heavy handed, sometimes to comedic effect, and bravo for that self-awareness, but allegories work best when contained within your created world's rules. This runs roughshod in asking the audience to extend their suspension of disbelief. I'm willing to accept a story wherein a bunch of people are kidnapping young black people and dumping their consciousness into them for whatever motives may be at hand. I have a harder time accepting a story wherein that happens, but the people carrying it out are basically trying to shout their intentions into the face of the person they're attempting to dupe, and failing to take advantage of opportunities to seal the deal.
At the same time, I appreciated the allegory for what it was saying, and enjoyed the movie immensely. It's incredibly entertaining, and simultaneously very clever while being frequently very dumb.
You provided a lot of points I had not considered. I still enjoyed the movie but thanks for the counters.
Originally Posted by Jinsai
Spoiler: The only thing that I think really falls apart is the maid and the gardener: they are clearly treated as servants and act to make the audience believe that they are hypnotized slaves, working against their will. I doubt that on second viewing it will hold up as Grandma and Grandpa. That was a cheat.
Originally Posted by Jinsai
The rest, for me, was fine. I like the theory that unnerving their victim for a day or two is part of the procedure. Like, it's part of breaking him.
I mean, most of it doesn't hold up under close scrutiny: we have GPS, we have social media, etc ("you could just send a picture of us to your parents and they would SEE that I'm black", "hey mate, here's the address I'm at, things are weird", and on and on)
This movie required A LOT of "suspension of disbelief". But it was so well written in every other aspect that I have to assume that the filmmakers were aware of this, and just hoped that we'll go with it.
I have to say, I had to suspend my disbelief further than I ever have with a movie... but that came afterwards. So maybe that's not truly suspension of disbelief?
Originally Posted by hellospaceboy
The plot holes didn't occur to me until I was in the car ride home. The experience of watching the movie was enjoyable and I'm good at shutting off my brain to "hey now, wtf, that doesn't make sense!" while I'm watching and experiencing a movie. So that's a unique thing... it did, naturally, enable me to suspend my disbelief without consciously doing so...
That said, on the ride home...
Spoiler: the box full of photos sitting in an adjacent room that has a door cracked open? That's kind of nuts!
This could be filed under the "part of the process" thing, and I can appreciate that... but when the movie starts with someone being kidnapped on the side of the road in a chokehold, that unexplained issue becomes more problematic.
Loved this film. Can't say enough about it. I'm glad I avoided any previews for this film. Made it all the better for me.
Well, I saw it again the other day, and I missed the answer to this too the first time I saw it...
Originally Posted by mfte
Spoiler: Remember the part where the dad is giving Chris the "tour" of the house? At one point, he stops to show him the photo of his father, bracing at the starting line on a track. He tells him the story about how he came in behind a black man who defiantly proved his physical superiority to Hitler's Aryan bullshit in the Olympics that year. The groundskeeper is the grandfather, happily committing his new body to physical labor that he's "happy to do!" It's all a part of the central notion that these people fawned at the concept of the "genetically superior" physique of black people.
That aspect comes full circle with regards to the Nazi infatuation with eugenics and genetic superiority... So when the dad is giving his placating "proved Hilter's Aryan bullshit wrong" it ironically registers as an endorsement of the Nazi philosophy: that genetic make up is a key advantage to ideal superiority. The notion is twisted further in that the Armitage procedure is a warped update on the idea of eugenics.
Either way, the replanted grandfather is trying to push his new body to the limits of what it can accomplish, to register as the ultimate ideal. The fact that this litmus test centers around a "race" is an amusing note. Either way, he's sprinting, as if to prepare himself anew, to surpass his previous failing. I guess the implication is that's what he's been doing since inhabiting his new body. Constant exercise and training. It seems like a pretty central point to the allegory, so it's a little odd that they glance over it and present it in such a cursory way. Nobody else I talked to caught it.
That leaves one aspect where I'm just unsure of what is being said. All of the transplanted hosts act odd in such an extreme way. It works to great effect in setting an eerie tone, but the message of what's being said there is elusive. Are the new transplants somehow mentally damaged? I get that they're acting out in a way that is intended to come across as ridiculously white and old-fashioned. "NO funny business!" "She's a real keeper!" But they also wear dim expressions and speak slowly. If there's a sort of dulled intellect incurred in the procedure, I don't remember that being covered... if there is, it would run against another plot-point underpinning their conspiracy...
Good thing too... watch the trailer now! It basically spells out the entire movie right up until the final reveal. Awful, awful trailer... maybe it is good at pulling people in, but it is completely overloaded with spoilers.
Originally Posted by Bachy
Also worth noting on my second impression: the sound design in this movie is incredible.
Last edited by Jinsai; 03-22-2017 at 05:45 PM.
Just watched the trailed and wow, yeah. Definitely spoils pretty much everything. I nearly lost my shit in the theater when Spoiler: the groundskeeper was sprinting at Chris
Originally Posted by Jinsai
Spoiler: Assuming it's indeed part of the story rather than a film device to make things creepier, I would hazard that this happens because it is not a complete transplant if I recall correctly. The procedure does leave a part of the host's brain intact (I don't remember the exact justification now), while the transplanted brain simply takes over the host's motor functions. I guess this means it is kind of awkward, like you're operating an exoskeleton or something. I think both speech and facial expressions are considered relatively complex procedures that require very good muscular co-ordination. Couple that with the fact that the two personas sort of co-exist in an uneasy peace, easily disrupted by a proper external stimulus like a flash (damn, just realised thunderstorms must be a bitch for them), and I guess this may account for the weirdness.
Originally Posted by Jinsai
Last edited by Alexandros; 03-22-2017 at 09:59 PM.