REVIEW — “Get Out”
When a movie opens with Redbone, you know you’re in for a treat.
Get Out is written and directed by Jordan Peele and has a cast featuring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Lakeith Stanfield and Lil Rel Howery. It tells the story of a young African-American man visiting his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate. I will leave the plot at that because you really don’t wanna know much going into this. Like most, I was surprised to see Jordan Peele writing and directing a horror film and was intrigued by the plot, to say the least. So, did he do it? Did the shorter half of Key and Peele make something good? Yes. A hundred times yes. Get Out is so great. It’s fun, thrilling, hilarious, and a total blast. In a time where horror has gotten really boring, Get Out excites me for the future. Is it perfect? No definitely not, but it is so well executed it doesn’t matter by the end of it.
This is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut and I’ll be damned if it’s not impressive. An immense amount of restraint and ambition is demonstrated by Peele and it is so exciting. I want to see him make more weird and experimental projects like this. Peele does a great job directing and he doesn’t bombard us with pointless jump scares and music cues. The first 30 minutes are creepy, confusing and unsettling. Tons of exposition isn’t dumped on the audience. We aren’t told everything, but we’re told enough to understand the story. It starts with a fantastic opening scene and the momentum never slows down. Jordan Peele showcases a surprising amount of talent behind the camera and I would love to see what he does next. He is able to draw convincing performances out of all the actors and when the more “odd” elements happen, we’re able to believe them because of the world Peele has constructed. He has a bring directing career ahead of him if he chooses to continue.
Jordan Peele also penned the script and it is very impressive. While his directing is more of an achievement here, the script is none the less great. While many of the elements in Get Out have been touched upon or done in other films, here they’re just done so well. While some parts of the story may be predictable, the way they’re executed is very fitting for the world that has been established. In the same way that The Visit, another Blumhouse production, has some formulaic elements, they are done so earnestly and executed so well, you forgive them (Get Out is much better and not as formulaic). Now, that’s not to say nothing is original. Peele has written a very strange movie. Everything he does with hypnotism was very cool and sufficiently freaked me out. Also when you eventually find out what is going on it was unexpected and very unique.
Daniel Kaluuya stars here and he does a great job. It’s so satisfying to see a character in a horror movie who isn’t a complete idiot. He never makes a stupid decision, he reacts appropriately and doesn’t die first. He is obviously a nod to the horror trope that the black guy dies at the beginning and it was very fitting. Allison Williams, while not given as much as Kaluuya, does a fine job as her character. Bradley Whitford does a great job. He is very likable and had some really good laughs. Catherine Keener is so creepy and unsettling, I was on edge whenever she was on screen. Also, in the creepy department, Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson are the definitions of creepy in Get Out. A few of their bits are featured in the trailer but they really got under my skin. Everyone here knocks it out the park and no character felt unnecessary or annoying. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how hilarious Lil Rel Howery is. He does a fantastic job as the comic relief and where as a part like this could easily get annoying or obnoxious, it never comes close to that. I loved whenever he was on screen and he is certainly a comedic talent to watch. Being a TSA agent never looked so cool!
On a technical level, Get Out gets a passing score. The soundtrack is really great. After a great cold open Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” starts playing and perfectly sets the tone of the story. Other than that there is nothing too exceptional here. The cinematography is solid, featuring some really great shots at times. The score is refreshingly good, not featuring obnoxious spikes in volume whenever a bird flys into the frame. Now, no one is rushing out to see this for the editing or sound mixing, they’re going for the plot and it’s handled very well. Get Out manages to never get too preachy. It certainly does feature some obvious messages about racism and the way African-Americans are treated but saying the movie is racist against white people. The movie isn’t necessarily about how African-American’s are mistreated by White people but more so tokenized. It pokes fun at how White people will change the way they speak or act to look cool, saying “Homie” or “My Man” and talking about more urban topics. There is certainly a fair bit of satire and Peele pokes fun at a lot of topics but it never comes close to divulging into being blatently racist.
So, I clearly dug Get Out. It’s weird, funny, thrilling and genuinely great. It’s so refreshing to see a great horror flick. Last year the only horror film I really enjoyed like this was Don’t Breathe and it’s exciting to see they’re making more projects like it. Jordan Peele impressed me on all fronts. 4.5/5