Horror is an interesting beast, most horror movies made these days aren’t very good but audiences go to them just for that adrenaline rush and to jump out of their seats. The movies are never really that good but they always make their money back. Rarely do we get quality horror movies made in the good ole U.S. of A. With what I consider a drought in the genre, director Jordan Peele manages to direct masterful horror/psychological thriller that not only scares you, it makes you think about things that some of us probably don’t want to think about.
In ‘Get Out’, we have Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) a fairly successful photographer who is dating Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). They’re an interracial couple with Chris being a dark skinned black man and Rose being a white woman. This forms the crux of the movie as it plays heavily on this dynamic. Rose invites Chris to her parents Dean (Bradley Whiteford) and Missy (Catherine Keener) Armitage house to meet him but, she informs him that she has not told them that he’s black. She assures him that his race is irrelevant to them because her parents are incredibly liberal. A line about her father and his love for Obama is just one of many standouts in the film. After hitting a deer which seems to be a staple in horror movies now. They finally make it to her childhood home and straight away, not everything is at it seems. Chris happens upon the groundskeeper and the maid who are both black and neither he nor the audience is quite sure what is going on with them. All anyone can tell is that something isn’t right.
For this to be Peele's first foray into the movie making business is nothing short of amazing in my opinion. Especially directing a horror film. Clearly, he has done his homework as it seems that every shot was chosen with care and the pacing is spot on. Through the first half of the film, the tension had me on edge not simply because of the how its shot but also the subject matter that the film is based around, being black in America. Peele does not shy away from the subject and refuses to sugar coat anything. Sitting in the theater, I felt my anxiety getting the best of me. Not because anything was particularly scary, it was simply because situations our protagonists were put in under the guise of tackling the topic of race. I felt every stare, and, every out of pocket line of dialog by these characters delivered straight into my soul. While there were some moviegoers laughing at parts that were actually probably meant to be funny, all I could do was give a nod in agreement at Chris’ reactions. Its been a long time since I’ve had my nerves rattled like that sitting in the theater.
These actors put on stellar performances as everyone felt like a real character. I’d like to spotlight Keener as she did an amazing job playing the mother. Daniel plays his role with nuance and you feel for him throughout the movie. One other standout who brings some much-needed comedy to the film is Chris’ best friend Rod (Lilrel Howery). He keeps in contact with him by phone and every interaction is hilarious. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Roses brother (Caleb Landry Jones) who is forever playing a scumbag and a host of other white folks.
To talk more about the plot of the film would do it a disservice, as it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible. As I said before Peele managed to create an amazing experience that is not only a well-crafted film but it’s a scathing commentary on race and race relations in America. What it feels like to navigate the world being both feared and revered at the same time. Everything from the writing to the directing to the performances and the ending had me leaving the theater wanting to go right back and watch it again. Kudos to Peele for this stellar film, hopefully, this isn’t a fluke and he’s got the ability to crank out more quality work in the future. I absolutely loved this film and I implore everyone to go see it.
5 out of 5 stars