The reason that horror and humor tend to go hand-in-hand is because good jokes and good thrills are both based on the same concept: timing. Jordan Peele is not someone who you would think would write a good horror film, after all he’s spent three years on Key & Peele making light of the horror genre. Instead that experience has given Peele an understanding of how to use timing to make an audience uncomfortable in just the right ways, proving that comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin, and Peele shows a knack for both in Get Out. In this film Peele shows not only an excellent sense of timing, but also how to write a great story that smartly plays into an audience’s expectations and uses them to its advantage. It also succeeds as an incisive and brilliant examination of race relations in America in a way that few films of any kind are daring enough to attempt.
The 89th Academy Awards came and went on Sunday night, with an evening full of surprises and upsets. The evening began with Hacksaw Ridge winning Best Editing and Sound Mixing, then ratcheted up the weirdness when Suicide Squad won Makeup and Hairstyling, and peaked with Moonlight‘s momentous Best Picture win. The night was full of deserving winners, including Kevin O’Connell, the Hacksaw Ridge sound mixer who won on his 21st nomination, as well as Viola Davis’ win for Fences and Mahershala Ali’s win for Moonlight, both in supporting acting categories. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Jimmy Kimmel, who proved his worth as an Oscars host in spite of a painfully awkward tour bus segment. The event ended with some amazing and heartfelt words from the producers behind both La La Land, which won six awards, and Moonlight, which won Best Picture, Supporting Actor, and Adapted Screenplay. As I posited might happen in my Oscar predictions, the night was similar to the 2014 ceremony when 12 Years a Slave won three awards while Gravity won mostly below the line awards.