Title: Get Out
MPAA: Rated R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catharine Keener
Synopsis: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.
Former Key and Peele star turned director, Jordan Peele, clearly loves horror. Inspired by the great horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, and Halloween, just by watching this film, one can clearly tell that Peele is familiar with the genre and understands how to scare an audience. But what makes this film stand out from most other modern, horror films is how it is able to keep those standard horror tropes, but speak to the audience in a completely different and fresh, new way.
Get Out is currently in theaters and follows our main protagonist, Chris Washington, a young, likable African-American man as he sets out to meet the parents of his caucasian girlfriend of four months. This may at first seem like an updated version of the classic Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller comedy, but it sure changes paths and tone quickly. It is clear that this is a passion project for Peele. He is someone who is bi-racial and his wife, the very talented Chelsea Peretti, is of caucasian descent. It was important to him to have a bi-racial couple front and center in this film, because frankly we just don’t get enough of that in movies really ever. However, Peele is able to take advantage of this. In a recent interview, he referred to this movie as a “social thriller.” Peele uses this horror film as a way to comment on real-life social issues like race in America, bi-racial marriages, and racial discrimination. The great thing is he never makes these issues the main focus on the film. His vision is very clear from the beginning. Tell an entertaining, but very creepy story, but these social issues added into the film is what makes it so unique. The awkwardness that Chris finds himself in, being in a predominantly white environment, will allow the audience to never feel comfortable and uneasy throughout. It’s such a great touch that Peele adds to this film. It also helps that this film is very well directed and acted. Let’s get to the acting.
Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead and does a marvelous job. He is really a star in the making, and this film might just have cemented his “star” status. He is actually a British actor, but it would be impossible to know that if you’re not already familiar with the actor, because his American accent is flawless. He really was the perfect fit for this role. He has such a likable presence to him, and you just wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to him. The film is filled with a fantastic supporting ensemble including talented up-and-coming actors like Allison Williams, Caleb Landry-Jones, and Lakeith Stanfield. But also great veteran actors like Catharine Keener and Bradley Whitford. They all do an excellent job, but I would like to single out two other actors from this movie. They are Betty Gabriel and LilRel Howery. I won’t talk too much about the plot, but one thing that Chris finds out very quickly when he arrives at the family estate is how they just so happen to have two African Americans servants who work for them. One a groundskeeper, and another a housekeeper. Well, Gabriel plays the housekeeper, and she is absolutely brilliant! She doesn’t have too much screen-time, but when she is on, she is CREEPY. LilRel Howery plays a completely different character. He is a TSA officer and best-friend to Chris. Chris calls him throughout the film to talk to him about all the weird stuff that is going on, and let me just say that Howery does not disappoint. He is absolutely hilarious and is in a way a security blanket for both Chris and the audience. Which leads me to my next topic: the tone.
Get Out has a very unique tone from most other horror films. Not only is is really creepy at time, but as I mentioned, very funny. This mainly has to do with the character played by LilRel Howery, but also the unusual situations that Chris finds himself in. Some of the stuff is just so bizarre that you just can’t help but chuckle. Maybe the most impressive thing about this movie is how Peele is able to balance the comedy and horror aspects of this film. Later on, when things go really off the rails, there still might be a scene that is funny, but than it immediately goes back to another scene that is terrifying, but the comedy never disrupts the flow of the horror. Most people are gonna get more and more terrified throughout this film even though the comedy never disappears. Very impressive stuff from first time writer and director Jordan Peele.
As far as the overall plot goes, it does seem very familiar. Putting the social commentary aspects aside, the horror part of it is common from other movies. So, with the being said, the ending and where things end up going may be very predictable. I personally knew where the movie was going very early-on. Also everything wasn’t necessarily cleared up at the end which may bug a few people. As far as these minor storytelling plots go, I think Get Out was very fresh horror film that will entertain most people who love horror movies.
Get Out is an impressive debut film from Mr. Peele. He certainly has a bright future ahead of him, and I hope he makes more of these “social thrillers” in the future. This film is very relevant in our modern-day American society, but is also very entertaining from beginning to end. At the end of the day, that was the main goal for Peele. He just wanted to make a very entertaining horror film that will scare people and have them talking for days afterwards. He absolutey succeeded in doing so. Look, is this film one of the greatest horror films of all time, like it’s 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes might imply? Probably not. Don’t let your expectations get too high before watching this film. But it is still a very well-made movie, with great performances through out. Peele’s unique vision and tone for this film is what sets it apart from most other horror films, so I definitely recommend watching this film, especially if you are in to horror. My grade for this film is: