Jordan Peele; American comedian, writer of Madtv and sketch show Key and Peele makes his feature length directorial debut in Get Out that hit cinemas recently, and it has made quite an impression on a number of levels.
Get Out is a satirical horror thriller that discusses many themes from racism to neo-liberalism in contemporary America.
The film stars British actor Daniel Kaluuya ( Sicario, Babylon, ) as African American photographer Chris Washington. Chris goes on a weekend break with his white girlfriend Rose Armitage, (Alison Williams of Girls fame) to meet her wealthy family in father Dean; a neurosurgeon, mother Missy; a psychiatrist (Bradley Whitford & Catherine Keener) and finally medical student brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) at their family estate.
Chris is a little anxious about the weekend, and Rose neglected to ever mention to her parents about the interracial nature of the relationship. She assures him that is not even remotely an issue as Dean would’ve “voted for Obama a third time” if he could.
Upon meeting the Armitages, everything seems friendly to Chris, albeit a little off.
The home is staffed by black workers; from gardeners to housekeepers, and there seems to be a peculiar element about their demeanor too.
Before Chris realises, the weekend at the Armitage estate takes many unexpected turns, and Chris grows increasingly unsettled about those and the environment around him.
Get Out succeeds in combining some terrifying Hitchcockian suspense with some hilarious satire, while not losing a squeamish tension and feeling of dread from the very start. This is something not lost in the comedy and tone of the sketch show Key and Peele. There are moments where you don’t know whether to be amused or shocked. Daniel Kaluuya brings an excellent sense of grounded shyness and skepticism to Chris. Alison Williams is a wonderful foil as the strong willed and independent Rose. The Armitage parents are excellently portrayed as liberal educated “hip” parents, (almost too hip) so at no point does the story here become predictable.
Finally some wonderful comic relief is brought about through another down-to earth character – Chris’s friend Rod, who’s job it is to take care of the couple’s dog for the weekend.
The movie is not without its faults. The final thirty minutes seems a little incredulous and rushed, as the characters become a little bit two-dimensional compared to their depth of the first hour. Rose’s brother Jeremy, especially comes across so unhinged from the off, that his character loses intrigue very soon. The story itself does end a little abruptly and fails to tie up all the loose ends.
Nevertheless, this movie can be genuinely terrifying and will make you jump out of your seat. It also superbly captures the “walking on eggshells” over politically correct attitude regarding race today.Some of the racial references, while well intentioned bring an overt cringe factor reminiscent of David Brent remarks from The Office. This adds to the tension of an already ominous premise in meeting the potential in-laws.
The pacing of the movie is excellent and the acting is convincingly gripping that I genuinely felt engaged and entertained for the entirety of the film.
Get Out works well since it’s as thrilling as it is intelligent. Combine that with the occasional laugh out loud comedic moments, and you have and extremely impressive film from Jordan Peele. Much more than a popcorn thriller. Don’t miss it.