Poor Get In. Or Furie. Though Netflix makes a relatively good effort to acquire and stream international movies, they’re less committed to letting you know these titles are available. You’re forgiven if you didn’t know Get In was available earlier this week. Netflix forgot to mention it. To make matters worse, the streaming giant re-christened the French thriller, Get In. No, that’s not a direct translation of the movie’s French title, Furie. And no, it’s not Jordan Peele’s Get Out. If you can find the movie, and if you can avoid any confusion over the title, Get In is a French home invasion thriller. Just don’t call it a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs despite the clear parallels.
After a summer vacation travelling in an RV, Paul Giallo and his wife, Chloe, and young son, are looking forward to getting home. But when they get to the property gates, they find themselves locked out. The security codes have changed. Even the name on the mailbox is different. In a bizarre reversal of fortunes, Paul’s caretakers have exploited a legal loophole and are now squatting in the Giallo family home. Forced to live in a trailer park and navigate an unresponsive legal system, Paul grows increasingly frustrated and desperation. This desperation pushes things to an inevitable, bloody confrontation.
Get In, Or Furie, is a Confused Euro-Update of Straw Dogs
Regardless of what you call it, Get In is very much a Euro-update of Straw Dogs with a bit of Parasite thrown in for good measure. There’s simply no denying the similarity both in plot and themes. Initially, Get In looks to flip the home invasion narrative with interesting results. From the outset, it’s not a movie about keeping invaders out of the house. Instead, the French thriller is about a family trying to get back into their home. And director Olivier Abbou, who also shares writing credits with Aurelian Molas, introduce timely and socially charged issues of race and class. Paul is an educated Black man, married to a white woman, and a homeowner. Comparatively, the squatters are the Giallo’s nanny and her White husband, evicted from their home. It’s a reversal of fortune that promises a more introspective taken on the home invasion formula.
Yet at some point, Get In abandons this more complex social commentary.
And over the early going of Get In, Abbou challenges audiences with his more contemporary take on a familiar story. Early images of the legal system’s treatment of Paul as a Black man, not a teacher and homeowner, elicit necessary discomfort. Another classroom interaction with a student, who accuses Paul of being an “Oreo” – Black on the outside, White on the inside – untangles more of the class and race issues. Yet at some point, Get In abandons this more complex social commentary. In its place, Abbou doubles down on Straw Dogs’ outdated gender politics. By the movie’s second half, Abbou focuses on Paul, the emasculated and weaker man, confronting his attackers. Similar to Straw Dogs, Get In makes explicit connections between male virility and violence.
Get In Trades in Timely Commentary for Outdated Message
At the height of 1970s counter-culture, Straw Dogs’ take on masculinity sparked controversy. In 2020, Get In’s connections between manhood, strength, and violence are so out-of-date, they’re dusty. And the connections are heavy-handed. While Peckinpah was a gifted filmmaker, Abbou lacks the same ambiguity and subtlety. The lengths taken to emphasize Paul’s “civilized” masculinity and his transition to “alpha male in-training” are almost over-the-top. For example, Abbou hints a few times that Paul struggles with sexual dysfunction. Following the bloody climax, Get In ends with a now virile Paul making love to Chloe in a bizarrely pornographic conclusion.
In 2020, Get In’s connections between manhood, strength, and violence are so out-of-date, they’re dusty.
But there’s also clearly some skill and talent involved in the movie. To his credit, Abbou establishes an early foreboding tone that he maintains. When Get In is violent, it’s necessarily disturbing and shocking at a distance. All of the performances are excellent. Unfortunately, once Get In introduces its “trailer-park” antagonist stand-in’s, it becomes a straightforward home invasion thriller. Despite some of the shocks from the movie’s violence, the climax doesn’t go far enough. That is, Get In is far removed from the New French Extremity of the 2000s. Little about Paul’s showdown feels as cathartic as should be required of the subgenre.
Get In a Promising Thriller That Goes Off Course
What starts as a socially charged subversion of the home invasion subgenre eventually embraces its worst excesses. Keep in mind, Get In is a watchable movie that is often challenging, disturbing, and tense. Abbou unpacks some tough themes for the first half of the movie. Nevertheless, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to deny the similarity to Straw Dogs. Rather than casting toxic masculinity in a negative light, Get In seemingly embraces it. Even for horror fans disinterested in bigger ideas, the French thriller underwhelms in its final act. And remember, Get In isn’t Get Out.