It’s so hard to find a movie that is original, but when you do it’s that much sweeter. Get Out marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele. As one half of the comedy duo, Key & Peele, he’s proven himself to be quite the comedic talent. Last year he wrote the screenplay for the movie Keanu, and while it wasn’t the greatest movie, it did provide laughs and give the idea that Peele would dip his feet a bit deeper in the movie world. Now we find him trying to tackle the horror genre. In the past we’ve seen horror and comedy come together to create some fantastic films. Get Out is definitely one of those films.
The story follows Chris and Rose, an interracial couple who are going away for the weekend to meet Rose’s parents. Chris finds out that her parents are not aware that he’s black and he immediately becomes nervous about the entire idea. When they get up there Chris starts realizing there is something off with the family. As the movie progresses we see a satirical, hilarious, and plain brilliant mesh of social commentary, comedy, and horror. The movie addresses the awkwardness that black people face when they’re in a room full of white people. There are jabs at stereotypes and cultural appropriation that are in no way heavy handed and flow very well with the narrative. My favorite observation was how they handled how passive racism has become. A lot of people don’t know that some of the comments they make are racist. This is addressed in a series of short conversations Chris has with people he meets at the house. It could be something as simple as Rose’s father saying “my man” to Chris when he would never say that to anyone else.
The comedic aspect of the film is what shines through the most. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering this is Jordan Peele. The jokes are funny, clever, smart, and effective in their execution, yet never take away from the darker tone of the movie. There are sequences with perfect comedic timing that had everyone in the audience bursting out laughing. A lot of that was due to the performance from Lil Rel Howery who plays Rod, Chris’ best friend. There wasn’t a single scene that he was in that wasn’t funny. He had me in tears as the comedic relief character.
Speaking about performances, Daniel Kaluuya is someone we need to watch out for. His performance as Chris in this movie is fantastic. He’s the character everyone in the audience undeniably got behind, and it was largely because of what Kaluuya brought to the character. He was able to be serious, vulnerable, relaxed, and hilarious. It was great to watch someone I never heard of really impress me. Allison Williams as Rose was also pretty damn good. They gave her character a lot to do through out the movie and she nailed it all pretty well. The supporting cast all brought good performances to round out a rock solid cast of actors. Jordan Peele got a lot out of everyone involved.
Peele’s direction deserves some serious praise here. This is the first feature film he’s ever directed and the movie looked like it was shot by a seasoned director. Some of the shots are absolutely brilliant. He’s able to guide the audience to believe certain things then flip it in a way that’s outrageous and believable within the context of the story. The very first shot of the film was a really long single take that was done very well. The creepy imagery was done well, especially with the character of Georgina. He was able to take casual dialogue and turn it into something truly unnerving. All of this also led up to a finale that literally had the crowd cheering. That goes to show how engaging the narrative was and how invested the people were in Chris as a character.
Did I say Chris was a great character? Because he really is. He’s just a dude who’s trying to have a nice weekend with his girlfriend, but he’s also really observant. In a lot of other not nearly as good horror movies, a character like his would have been unaware of the clues around him and would’ve likely died immediately. Chris is hyper aware of the situation because of the environment. He doesn’t feel comfortable around so many white people to the point that when he sees one other black guy he goes up to speak to him right away. That sense of discomfort made him aware of his surroundings to the point that he comes across as paranoid. I found that to be a fantastic aspect to his character.
Even the film’s score is memorable. Michael Abels gave a score that was at times completely unnerving yet at other times hilarious. Some of the tracks give that sense of a comedy movie attempting to be a bit creepy, while other times it’s full on terror he’s trying to display. All of it comes out great as the music makes this atmosphere unsettling.
Overall, I really love this movie. When horror and comedy comes together this well I can’t help but be excited. Get Out seems like it was tailor made for my interests with its mix of horror and intelligent comedy. Throw in great directing and a possible break out star in Daniel Kaluuya and I found a movie that goes on the list of the all time great horror comedies. This is the best movie of the year so far and there’s still a long year of potentially great movies ahead of us.
This is the first time I’m pulling out this score in 2017. Get Out gets a 100/100 and is awarded the title of…