When you think Jordan Peele, visionary horror director is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet somehow, he’s created a film that subverts the genre, and provides a provocative and incisive commentary on the perils of casual racism. Get Out is simply the most cerebral cinematic experience this year, hell, this decade, and will have viewers country wide, immediately recounting it’s brilliance as both a creepy atmospheric horror and an innovative satirical analysis on smug liberal guilt that cleverly disguises itself friendly fire. Jordan Peele has truly developed an wholly unique film that will literally blow your mind, leaving you wondering how something like this hasn’t been made until now.
Get Out is the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams), who are an interracial couple preparing to visit Rose’s parents home for the weekend. On the way there, Chris voices concerns over potential prejudicial responses from the various members of Rose’s family, which are largely met with convincing reassurance that her family is very open and understanding. As the the two settle into their vacation, Chris begins to feel uncomfortable, dealing a with a veritable barrage of awkward exchanges with innately racist undertones. Things begin to shift to a more nefarious temperment and then chaos begins to ensue.
There is simply no way to properly synopsize this film without completely spoiling it. Just know that there are multiple twists and turns that are well developed plot devices and help hold your attention. As a horror film, Get Out is pretty formulaic, with manipulative music that spikes when you’re supposed to jump, and some breathy camera work that holds shots to develop an ominous atmosphere. But the scares, while intensely effective, are not the point. At it’s core, this is a biting exegesis on contemporary race relations, and how bigotry has evolved into a more nuanced approach. A healthy mix of fear and paranoia which drive the narrative, result in incredibly observant and yet interpretive take on the white upper classes embedded racism, that has matriculated in the form of overcompensation for fear that their more prejudicial personality traits may surface. What’s most clever, is how Peele manages to mask some of the more overt criticisms of liberal guilt, with absurdity and jump scares.
Horror films carry traditionally weak performances, meant to reside on either end of the likability spectrum. Either you’re rooting for their assured demise, or investing in their well being, but with Get Out, it transcends typical character tropes. Kaluuya is both likable and sympathetic, but his performance is also subtle and emotionally resilient, while also being authentic. This film could have very easily derailed were it not for Kaluuya’s brilliance. Genre is laced with clumsy characters who keep making terrible decisions for which the audience can admonish and screen shout, but Get Out doesn’t have any of those forehead slapping moments. The cast are all brilliant, and funny, namely Lil Rel Howery, whose turn as the comic relief comes at opportune times to break up some of the heavier sequences.
There is an acute awareness that is deftly displayed throughout the first act, consistently winking away at the code switching dialogue, and stopfordian encounters that allude to something bizarrely sinister. Peele’s eye for tracking and a keen developing of situational horror with drawn out camera work, is exemplary, especially for someone who has never directed anything before, but it’s his talent as a writer which reigns supreme. There is no other way to put it, but that Get Out will make you uncomfortable, because it’s honest, and Peele doesn’t skirt around his deliberate examination of stereotypes and the status quo, with his sights set on the elitists, and their incessant need for superiority–moral and otherwise.
It’s easy to see that Peele has a bright future behind the camera, and it was always clear to those that watched his sketch comedy show, that he was a devilishly funny writer, but Get Out is beyond any possible expectation for the first time filmmaker. He has created a visionary masterpiece, that blends multiple genres and subversive social dissection. What is most interesting about it, is how truly and sincerely original this story is. This is topical horror and humor filtered through an inventive narrative that feels no need to water itself down for mass audiences, which won’t prevent it from making a killing at the box office. Peele has succeeded in providing amazing intellectual nourishment the likes of which we have never seen before, and it’s as conspicuously entertaining as it is socially aware.
4.85/5 EPIC BRO