R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references.
aniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield
and Catherine Keener
For fans of the Comedy Central show “Key & Peele” and people that have paid attention to Jordan Peele, it should be pretty evident that Jordan Peele is a fan of horror. Many skits not only pay tribute to the genre but for the most part also provide commentary on the exhausted tropes that lie in the genre. With Jordan Peele’s feature-length directorial debut, Get Out, the trend continues.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is about to meet the parents of his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), for a weekend getaway and has some trepidation due to the fact that they are an interracial couple. Rose assures him that there is nothing to worry about because her parents are “lame” and do not care about race. She even includes a joke that her dad would have voted for Obama for a third-term if he could have. Chris & Rose leave the city and visit Rose’s parents (played brilliantly by Bradley Whitford & Catherine Keener) out in the country and Chris’s paranoia raises during the trip. Obviously, to give anymore away would be doing a disservice to the film. The best thing you can do is go in blind or knowing very little about the film.
Jordan Peele wrote & directed the film and not only brings a fresh voice to the genre but also pays tribute to some of the masters of the genre. Peele displays such a great balance between comedy and tension. He is able to reach the same levels of paranoia that Polanski displayed with films like Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby in addition to having a character that is our reality-based comic relief that feels like a throwback to a 90’s horror character ensemble piece (think Randy from Scream). Peele is also able to not only throw social commentary into the film as well as twist it in a fashion to surprise you (ie. the ending will make you feel like it will go in one direction but it actually goes down a different and better path).
While Peele’s direction is strong and on point, his actors also bring their A-Game. Bradley Whitford, who plays Rose’s father, and Catherine Keener, who plays Rose’s mother, bring the right attributes to their characters to question Chris’s paranoia. Whitford’s character teeters a fine line of awkwardness as well as genuine heart while Keener’s character is one that on the surface feels familiar but might have something more sinister deep down – which rears its head during a scene that will grab the audience and not let go. Caleb Landry Jones makes an appearance in the film as Rose’s brother at a time when the audience will think they got the family aesthetic laid out only to make us question everything again.
The final act is when Peele lets the dogs loose and has the story go into some weird territories. It is also during this final act that we come to appreciate Chris’s friend, Rod (LilRel Howery), who not only is our most ground character but also is a character that seems to act as the audience as well. If I were to nitpick, the story might not be as scary as some people were hoping and leans more on the thriller aspect with some weird attributes using social commentary as foreplay.
Jordan Peele has a bright future ahead of him. He has stated that he wants to continue making thrillers/genre films and I really hope we continue to hear his voice. Get Out is one of the most unique genre films of recent memory and I look forward to seeing again.
GET OUT is in theatres nationwide today.
Brilliantly directed, written and acted.
A fresh look using a genre structure.
One hell of a roller-coaster ride.
Might not be as scary as some people would like it to be.