Jordan Peele is a name that most people associate with comedy, his hilarious series “Key and Peele” was one of the best breakout hits to ever air on Comedy Central’s programming block. After the show ended, Peele and Key went on to make movies, star in other movies and do their own various projects. When time came that Peele announced he was doing a comedic horror movie…needless to say that was the last movie genre I ever expected him to dabble with. “Get Out” is the first film directed and written by Peele himself and it comes with an very effective and powerful message; draped in horror, humor and packaged so surprisingly well, one could hardly believe this is his first crack and directing and writing a movie.
“Get Out” is about an interracial couple; Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). Rose is bringing her black boyfriend to meet her VERY white parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) on their private estate for the weekend. While there, Chris notices several African Americans working as servants on the estate and that something strange is going on with them and Rose’s peculiar parents. After receiving a mysterious warning about leaving before it’s late, Chris finds out that this weekend is going to be a lot more intense than he first expected.
Exploring racism in films is nothing new. It’s been utilized and presented in every subtle and not so subtle manner, including everything from people of different races, species or even planets. What makes “Get Out” such a fresh and frightening take on the hate band wagon is the underlying mystery and foreboding surrounding the typical conflict of an interracial couple confronting their parents about the elephant in the room. This isn’t about flashing hot button racial slurs or donning white robes and expressing unyielding hatred, this is a subtle, creepy, unnerving look into a disturbing story that takes on multiple twists and turns that are anticipated but never expected nor believed until you actually see it. Reminiscent of the “Stepford Wives”, “Get Out” keeps you guessing on what dark mystery is really going on here.
It’s a great, continuous level of pacing that clearly shows something bad is happening but you don’t know what exactly, but you’re still uneasy and that feeling only grows along with your interest. The suspension and surprise are genuine and effective. Aside from one jump scare involving a deer, nothing feels forced or weak. The horror comes off naturally well and no matter what color your skin is, the growing sense of fear and terror closing in on you is an unmistakable feeling that successfully translates to anyone. The fact this deals with such a bizarre form of prejudice makes the film feel more relevant and on point than ever before in today’s day and age.
Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams make a great compelling pair of leads, Daniel especially delivers some powerful emotional reactions that perfectly sum up what the character is feeling and makes us feel it in turn. Whitford and Keener are by far the most noticeable performers for me because I have seen them both in many films prior to this one, they truly transform into these nice, mysterious yet darkly serious people. Peele really has an incredible talent that clearly is not limited to comedy, though there is plenty of jaw throbbing one liners that will remind you where Peele’s roots are. Comedy and horror are not an easy blend but Peele mixes both without a single element feeling out of place or inopportune.
Overall, “Get Out” is an original, creative crafted film that presents powerful surges of fear, hatred and humor in ways that make it come off as more impactful than preachy. It’s a brilliant blend of horror and humor with a stellar cast that shows off some fresh new talent and polishes off some devilishly old ones to create a unique and paralyzing cinematic experience; once you start you cannot and will not want to stop watching. Peele had a long, very successful career ahead of him if this film is any indication of what has yet to come.