Produced by: Jason Blum
Written and Directed by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
The movie may be called “Get Out,” but you’ll be glued to your seat. “Get Out” is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, and though Peele typically works in comedy, it’s refreshing to see his talent as a writer and director flourish in another genre. Peele handles subtle thematic elements masterfully while creating a truly tense atmosphere, wrapped in a story that gives the audience something new and unexpected.
The story follows Chris (Kaluuya) and Rose (Williams), an interracial couple taking a weekend trip to the home of Rose’s parents, whom Chris has yet to meet. Though Rose’s family is more than welcoming of Chris, despite some awkward attempts to connect with him as an African-American, there is a constant feeling hanging over Chris’ and the viewer’s heads that something is very, very wrong.A
Despite the general feeling of dread that accompanies the film, Peele has decided to use his famous wit to relieve some of the pressure, which ends up being hilarious instead of cheesy. Juggling humor and horror is quite a feat, and one has to applaud Peele on his ability to do both. Frankly, the whole story is crafted excellently, and by the time you think you’ve figured out what’s going on, a new revelation makes you start thinking all over again.
Fans of “Black Mirror” may recognize Kaluuya from the episode “Fifteen Million Merits,” and his performance is just as engaging. The whole cast does a wonderful job of seeming like a well-meaning, if naive, family, but the truth is obviously much more sinister. Saying anything more would spoil the fun.
Picking up on racial sub-plots and themes will be too easy for some in the audience, but all viewers should take note and pay attention just in case. The film has a lot to say about outside attitudes towards African-Americans, with a strong critique both of those who express outright disdain as well as those who express a faux or misguided admiration, and will hopefully start a national dialogue about some outsiders’ misunderstanding of what it means to be an African-American. Oh, and playing Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” in the opening scene was a nice touch too.
The only drawback some might see is the use of jump scares, meaning sudden images accompanied by a loud sound cue. Now, jump scares in horror can work well, particularly if the sound comes from something happening within the scene, but some films have chosen to milk this trope to the bone by adding sudden violin or piano notes that are simply designed to startle the viewer, and have nothing to do with the actual scene. While “Get Out” does employ these tactics, it doesn’t do so ad nauseum like some other films, so whether you love or hate jump scares, you’ll still be able to enjoy the movie as a whole.
“Get Out” is a very pleasant surprise from someone new to the genre, and a promising head start that should make horror fans anxious for any new projects. Not to mention, it has a great ending, something a few horror films have been lacking in recent years. Horror and humor are always better with friends, so round a few up and see “Get Out” as soon as you can.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Review by Truman Templeton