In the vein of race focused features like Get Out, Tyrel focuses on a young man named Tyler who agrees to go to the mountains on a weekend birthday trip with one of his friends. The only downside of the trip is that Tyler is the only black man there. With heavy drinking and a secluded environment he begins to feel uneasy and slowly starts to feel like he is trapped in a nightmare situation.
Tyrel begins with Tyler feeling uncomfortable and by extent the audience is made uncomfortable. After running out of gas on the way to the secluded house in the woods, the friend who invited Tyler calls to ask for help. When the group shows up they wind up calling Tyler Tyrone and one of the men keeps insisting that they’ve met before. This situation becomes oddly aggressive and he continues to insist that Tyler should remember him. The cabin environment continues to get more and more uncomfortable during a game involving accents that one of the men does call out as being ignorant, but this comment doesn’t resolve the issue of ignorant behavior continuing throughout the night.
The movie is a bit slow going, with the focus being on Tyler’s reactions to the people around him. At a certain point he chooses to remove himself from the party and go to bed early. When the morning comes the men all enjoy breakfast, with Tyler helping to put together breakfast. I was surprised by the sudden appearance of Michael Cera as Alan, even though he was billed on the poster. He winds up riding with Tyler in the back of the truck and the two begin to bond over Irish coffee in a thermos. After a remarkably stupid prank Tyler is the only one who tries to help Alan get warm afterward. As the trip begins to fall into a drunken debauchery Tyler finds himself ostracized by the group. As he watches from the outside he decides to leave and find solace in a more relaxed environment. Tyrel pushes you to examine race and how the behavior people exhibit can create toxic environments for those who feel part of the minority. You can find out more about Tyrel and how to watch it on the the movie’s official website.