Director/Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
A review by Stephanie Cooke
Who doesn’t love a good horror movie? Well, me sometimes, but only because I’m a huge wimp. I’ve been expanding my horizons though as far as the genre goes and the last few years have brought many a scary movie to my VCR (that’s an old school Blu-ray player to you youths… and no I don’t really still have a VCR) and I’ve really started to appreciate when a good one comes along. I’m still a huge wimp and I most DEFINITELY cover my eyes and jump at pretty much everything but they’re growing on me.
Get Out is the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African American man, who has gotten to the point in his relationship where he is off for the weekend to visit his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Rose (Allison Williams) and her family are white so they have a tense conversation about whether or not her parents will be okay with their daughter dating a black man (this is all in the trailers, I promise I won’t spoil anything). After reassuring Chris that everything is going to be hunky dory, the couple head off into the country to meet the family and get some bonding time in together… only, things aren’t quite what they seem at the Armitage home and Chris can’t figure out if he’s being paranoid or there’s something genuinely sinister going on.
One of the best things about Get Out is its ability to stand on the legs of a good story without relying on gimmicks that many horror movies fall back on. Get Out is not gory, it’s not filled with over the top jump scares or clichés. The writing from Jordan Peele is solid and he perfectly sets the stage for what lies ahead. Throughout the film there’s definitely some comedic relief so that it’s not pure edge of your seat thrills but they fit in really well with the overall tone of the film. It’s exactly the kind of horror film that you could expect from Peele, but better.
I guess while I’d also personally put the film in the horror genre, some might be more quick to say that it’s a thriller. I think there’s merit and an argument for both but horror or thriller aside, it definitely is also a commentary on what’s going on in the world. Not just issues that people think our in our past, but things that are going on still today. And while there are some heavy themes within the film, it still somehow manages to be a lot of fun for the most part.
Get Out is fast paced and gets into things fairly quickly. If you’ve seen any of the trailers, you’ve probably (like me) been trying to figure out the plot twists that happen within the film. I’m not going to spoil any of those for you (duh) but my recommendation is this: if you’ve managed to avoid the trailers for Get Out, continue to avoid them. I think I would’ve enjoyed the film a THOUSAND times more if I hadn’t been thinking of what might be coming. To clarify, this isn’t any sort of slight on the film; Get Out has a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for very good reason. And that is because it’s good. I just think it’ll be an even better film going in knowing next to nothing.
Daniel Kaluuya is phenomenal in the film from start to finish. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and you can feel his anxiety, paranoia, and dread oozing through the screen throughout the whole thing. He’s got a ton of stage presence and commands your attention and sympathy as he tries to unravel what’s going on around him. I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll continue to see more and more of Kaluuya on the big screen over the next few years.
Equally fantastic in completely different respects were Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, and Bradley Whitford, who I honestly didn’t even recognize on screen. Williams plays her role so well as the perfect girlfriend, daughter, sister. Her appearance and her demeanour in the film is no doubt an additional commentary which can be saved for discussion once more people have seen the film. I completely bought into Keener and Whitford’s relationship and whole deal out in the country. GUH, honestly, everyone was just brilliant in the film. Really.
See it! I’ve been on a huge horror kick for the last little while and Get Out is easily the best I’ve seen in a long time. The performances are outstanding, as is the writing and directing. I definitely was tense watching the film (again, I’m a wimp) but I don’t think you need to be deterred from the film if you’re not a fan of horror. I swear that somehow the overall tone of the movie is more fun than anything… I did have a very rowdy audience that shouted a lot of “Oh SHIIIIIIIIIT!”s and “NAH NAH NAAAAAH!”s and such throughout the film that definitely added to it all being a bit more lighthearted, but I think the comedic relief would’ve helped that along even I hadn’t been among a bunch of folks willing to throw out their goofy commentary.
As I also mentioned, there’s definitely a deeper discussion worth having once more people have seen the film as it really does have a lot to say, but all of that aside, it’s a really solid movie to go see and I don’t think anyone will regret the price of admission to check it out.