I’d been waiting ages to watch this film, and finally got a chance to see it earlier this week. Get Out is the directional debut of Jordan Peele, known for the most part (before this) as one half of the iconic comedy sketch duo Key & Peele.
The film focuses on Chris, a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s family for the first time on their estate. At first everything seems quite normal, and then things start to get weird.
Walking in, I was expecting a lot from this. Jordan Peele may be a master of comedy, but he’s also a master of nuance. If you watch him in any of the Key & Peele sketches, you can tell that he understands the depth of the character he is playing, despite the fact that many of those characters are caricatures used to illustrate satire.
This is what makes him an amazing director, and I was not disappointed, even with my high as fuck expectations. He understands the experience of his characters. In this case, although some horror elements of the film are far-fetched, the majority of the set-up is based in reality, where he masterfully derives horror from everyday experiences of black individuals in society, most often in situations where they have to interact with white people.
It’s not over-the-top racism from white people, or exaggerated reactions from black people. Nope. It’s simple microaggressions that we’re confronted with and left to stew in, leaving audiences feeling uncomfortable regardless of what side of that line you’ve fallen on.
And let’s face it, we’ve all been on the receiving end of a weird comment that informed us we were being seen as a certain race, age, or gender before we were being viewed as a human being. It’s this insidious wave of energy that’s the true horror in this film.
But make no mistake, Get Out has its fair share of jump scares, well-placed scores and straight-up violence too. The film uses so many genre tropes, but also subverts many of them too. It balances on that fine line between thriller and horror, and isn’t afraid to give you a few laugh-out-loud moments, despite there being no real punch lines.
In terms of performances, everyone’s awesome all the way through. I’m glad to see Allison Williams branching out quite a bit from her Girls role, and I expected nothing less from Daniel Kaluuya who I said we could be expecting great things from when I saw him in Black Mirror years ago (and re-iterated when he appeared in Sicario). Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford also do an amazing job as Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents.
Let’s also not forget that the film had a near perfect critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, until Armond White came along and decided he needed to be a provocateur (he does it for the attention after all). Maybe I’m a bit biased, but this is Armond White we’re talking about. I think Get Out star Lakeith Stanfield summed it up best:
Overall, Get Out provides some interesting social commentary; it adds to the voices in cinema (which are often missing from the narrative), and provides a masterfully crafted horror film that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and leave you unsettled as the credits roll.
Get Out is one of the best films this year so far and is one you must see; more than once according to many who say the meaning of the film changes on the second viewing.
You can watch the trailer for Get Out below, although I would recommend you just go and watch the film instead:
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