Meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time is usually the stuff of romantic comedies. First you meet her parents, then her siblings, and maybe a few close family friends, and then you add in a few comical misunderstandings, and by the third act not only does everyone love the new boyfriend, but the girlfriend has a new appreciation of what a real jewel she has. But first time writer/director Jordan Peele (of the comedy duo of Key & Peele) decided to forgo the yuks and instead take the same material and twist it into a taut psychological thriller.
Now I’m not saying this movie is devoid of laughs and humor, because it isn’t, but the laughs are a sort that leave you with a creepy sense of unease. Jordan, whose mother is white and his father is black, is deftly able to navigate racial and cultural stereotypes to produce many truly funny moments. The problem is that instead of building toward a heartfelt resolution these moments build toward feelings of dread, and a mounting sense of paranoia.
Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.