‘Get Out’ is a brilliant balance of horror, humor, social commentary.
The story centers around Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his relationship with Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). They have been dating for several months now, and they have reached the point where Rose is ready to bring him home to mom and dad. Chris starts to feel a little nervous when Rose lets it slip that she’s neglected to tell her parents that he’s black. She plays it off like it shouldn’t matter, but understandably he’s concerned. Her parents live out in the middle of nowhere in a spacious country estate. Most of the family greets Chris very warmly (almost too warm), and everything seems to go well. Her parents Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener) spend lots of time in the beginning trying to convince Chris how progressive they are but just as he lets his guard down, things take a drastic turn.
What I Liked
What surprised me was the precision in which this narrative was crafted. Peele takes on the issue of race relations and effortlessly weaves it into a genre that wouldn’t appear to make sense. Instead of deriving the horror from a killer with 26 personalities, the horror inside Get Out stems from racism.
The film was impeccably paced. The director Jordan Peele has a great feel for building the tension in the narrative till it’s inevitable crescendo.
The film doesn’t overkill the audience with the amount of gore and blood. There’s just enough to enhance the story, but not enough that it somehow distracts.
Very rarely will you find a film that’s perfectly cast, but this one is pretty close.
Jordan Peele makes great use of actors Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel, who play two African American estate workers who appear to be a little off. I loved watching Alison Williams getting to show her range in this role. Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford were also both fantastic picks to play the parents. Each can project genuine warmth and at a moments notice pivot towards being something way more, creepier.
Nothing in this film felt forced. The humor was born out of normal circumstances (who wouldn’t laugh at a story of your ex-girlfriend collecting her toenail clippings). The scares were genuine and not artificially created.
Above all else, this was an example of a filmmaker taking a risk. I’m sure that Jordan Peele could have had his pick of any number of a comedic based project just based on how wildly popular Key and Peele are. However, he went in an entirely different direction, tackling a genre we would have never predicted and flourished. What’s not to like about that?
What I Didn’t Like
I wasn’t a huge of all the background knowledge we were given on Chris. All that was important is he’s dating Rose and going home to meet her parents who didn’t know his race. I didn’t need to know about his love of photography. Truthfully, didn’t need to know about his friend at the TSA. Most of what makes Get Out funny comes in the moment and not from his quirky friend.
Get Out is one of the most original films released in 2017. In an era of cookie-cutter narratives and Hollywood sequels being driven into the ground, it’s refreshing to see something this good so early in the year. Maybe this is a sign of things to come?