Seriously, if you’ve pondered on whether seeing the film or not, please do yourself a favor and go see it. It’s worth the admission.
Jordan Peele, known for Key & Peele makes an excellent first impression in his directorial debut. He brings a fresh take on typical horror movies, implementing the obvious, but subtle racial tension and sharp satirical wit.
A young African-American man named Chris visits his girlfriend Rose’s mysterious Caucasian family estate, and from there on a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
In most horror films guys like Chris, exceptionally played by Daniel Kaluuya, end up dead really quick. It’s an overused cliché, but it is reversed in this film, and to see an African-American male protagonist front and center is a nice change of pace within the horror genre.
What’s also great is that the film showcases his paranoia, he knows something is up, he’s not blind to it. He makes the smart decisions and plays it cool, he isn’t some dumb protagonist ready to be next on the chopping block. Kaluuya is great at playing a doomed man who thinks he’s in control of the entire situation. On the surface he looks confident and at ease, as he has sharp eyes taking notes on everyone’s behavior and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out something is odd. You’re never quite sure what’s going on at the girlfriend’s home, whether everyone’s involved in some sinister plot or if its just some awkward misunderstanding. But it’s clear that something is happening, and Chris is the most normal person here, and as the audience member we’re not given any reason to doubt him.
Kaluuya also has great chemistry with Allison Williams who portrays his girlfriend Rose. They both get to showcase their moments as a couple together very well, and I’m quite positive they’ll get more recognition into furthering their careers. The characters are fleshed out immaculately, with Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener in their best performances to date. Caleb Landry Jones also has an appropriately, intensely edgy role, a tad bit over the top I might add. Whenever the film needs a short moment of humor, a lot of the film’s levity comes from Lil Rel Howery as Rod, Chris’ best friend.
In some areas, the film does take its time to get things going, but Peele strategically knows where to add elements into the film to build up the tension. For example he knows where to showcase creepy sound effects and music cues. He successfully increases the level of anxiety, relying upon the fear of something not visible to the naked eye. It is reminiscent in the ways of a Hitchcock or Kubrick film.
Get Out embraces the stereotypes and embraces them very well. Social commentary is very relevant and poignant in the film. Peele allows the viewer to see prejudice head on. When all is said and done, you now have a bird’s eye view of what is really wrong with society. The film definitely shines light on the aspect of ourselves that a lot of us would rather not acknowledge or be in denial of. As much as we try to convince ourselves that we’re above forming preconceptions and stereotyping, we aren’t. Peele uses this as a tool to bleed out anxiety and tension which very much fuels the entire film.
All the slow build up leads to one of the most satisfying climaxes I’ve seen in a while in a horror film. Peele is the true star of this film. He brings a distinctive visual style, carving out the film’s creative path with some dark reveals, addresses the variable levels of racism with subtly, pays homage to some great horror films, and at times very humorous as well.
There have been some quality horror films of this era, Sinister, Paranormal Activity(not the cash grab sequels), The Conjuring, Lights Out, but Get Out is one of those horror films that is intellectually engaging and self-aware. For me it ranks up there with Scream and Cabin in the Woods.
I give Get Out a solid 9/10