An addition to the many great horror films with socially conscious themes, Get Out is a film worthy of everyone’s viewing. Rich with thrills, a budding mystery, and a sharp script, this intense debut feature from writer-director Jordan Peele has all its hype well-deserved and its enormous success duly-earned.
The movie stars Black Mirror alum Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a young black photographer who anxiously agrees to spend the weekend at Caucasian girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents’ home in upstate New York. The parents (both played to eerie perfection by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) attempt to break the ice to no avail. Chris doesn’t buy their show of excessive friendliness. The awkwardness escalates as Rose’s brother (Caleb Landy Jones) visits and instantly grates on Chris. Things soon turn more uncomfortable as Chris mingles with the family’s friends and guests. And just as soon as he connects the dots that things may be more than they seem, it may all just be a little too late. What soon follows is a medley of camp, dream sequences, politically charged dialogue, and a jarring twist that will leave audiences gasping for air.
Jordan Peele, widely known for comedy projects like MadTV and Key and Peele, injects his deft humor through and through. This is not a straight-up horror film, as much as viewers may think it is. He directs the living daylights out of this movie; fitting, because he also wrote it. What he showcases is a clear vision and incredible execution. This exhibition of expertise may just to linger for many years to come.
Peele has also assembled quite an ensemble to play up his vision. Daniel Kaluuya, who takes center stage, is quite the force to be reckoned with. His portrayal of a black man threatened, vulnerable, and yet at the same time putting up a face, playing it cool amidst the insanity around him is his tour-de-force. Rose, as played by Girls’ Allison Williams is the quintessential millennial girlfriend, but her sweet-natured personality doesn’t stay for long. She is magnetic in her display of versatility. Bradley Whitford’s overzealous Dean is something we’ve seen before and yet we’re still drawn to him as he gives such gusto to the role. He plays the creepy father down to a tee. While Catherine Keener as Missy, the mother who’s more of an empathetic figure and whose secretive nature will divide viewers is also an incredible performance.
The technicalities of this film are as impressive as the performances. The tension that surrounds the parents’ house is crafted in such as a way that viewers get to feel, put themselves in the same shoes; it’s quite unnerving. From long shots of the parents’ home and a close-up shot of Chris’ terrorized facial expressions, the cinematography is quite the treat. Sound design complements Get Out‘s cinematography as effects are used to highlight choice sequences to the same degree as the jump scares were effective halfway through the film.
What Get Out does best is how it completely detours one’s preconceptions. You think you know just what you’re watching but as the movie progresses, it makes you question things. Is there racism or is it just because of perception? The movie takes no prisoners in ribbing the stereotype of the white liberal, and clearly it doesn’t hold back with the story it’s telling us. As much as America is still a racially stratified nation, Get Out steps into somewhat unchartered territory — being a bold and conscious representation of what their country suffers from. In this politically-charged era, it goes to show that this work of fiction could easily be someone’s actual living nightmare.