Jordan Peele’s Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya (Emily Blunt’s partner in Sicario) as Chris. He is a black gentleman who has been in a relationship with Rose (Allison Williams) who is white and comes from an affluent family. Invited for a weekend gathering with her family at their estate, Chris is a bit unsure how he will be received since Rose’s parents don’t know he is black. Upon arriving Chris meets Rose’s father, Dean (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon and his wife, Missy (Catherine Keener) is a psychiatrist. At first glance, everyone seems okay, I mean they say they loved Obama and “would have voted for him a third term if they could”. So the idea is they are liberal and accepting of black people in their community and are fine with Chris being in a relationship with their daughter. When Rose’s brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) arrives, things go from pleasant to a bit adversarial. Jeremy seems to be a bit of a foul mouther lout. The Armitage’s have two black people as hired hands that live on the property. Georgina (Betty Gabriel) is the maid, housekeeper and cook and spends most of her time walking around with a fake and creepy smile plastered on her face. Walter (Marcus Henderson) maintains the grounds and goes for inexplicable runs in the middle of the night. Everyone, however is pleasant and seemingly, amiable. But for Chris (and the viewers) something does not seem right.
I was not sure how I would take Get Out. I knew there was a race-relation, political theme lurking under the surface of this film. I could look past the politics and social commentary and just enjoy the film, as it is presented. My concern was just how political does Get Out become. Fortunately, writer and director Jordan Peele is wise to touch on the material but he does not overdo it. He does not beat you over the head with his agenda. Instead he wisely develops characters and a story that is sharply observant and crackles with suspense. Get Out has some old fashion elements involving the creaky house and people scurrying around in the middle of the night, but for the most part this film is fresh and original. It is powered by excellent performances especially by Daniel Kaluuya. He is excellent as Chris. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are also solid as the parents. They come across as sensible and decent but they seem to know how far to take their characters and leave some doubt in your mind as to their intentions. Allison Williams is terrific as the daughter trying to just get through the weekend and go home.
At the core of Get Out is Jordan Peele’s script which is part social commentary and part thriller and he is able to combine these element into an effectively creepy thriller. The social commentary is not overdone so when things go haywire the film’s energy does not suffer, as a result. Get Out has a nice flow and Peele paces this film perfectly. This film also has some laughs most of which comes from Chris’s friend, Rod (LilRei Howery) who works for the TSA and is charged with taking care of Chris’s dog for the weekend. Rod is a conspiracy theorist and is suspect of everyone. There is one scene when he goes to the local police station to file a missing persons report for Chris who has dropped off the face of the Earth. Rod is understandably worried, but the reaction from the police is priceless and garnered a big laugh from me. Everyone is Get Out, no matter how large or small their role is seems to be having fun and it shows on screen. I also enjoyed Michael Abels unnervingly effective score which is peppered throughout the film but is not loud or overbearing to this film. Certain scores for horror/thriller films can be overused, abrasive and add nothing to the story because the overwhelm it. I guess certain directors think an overbearing score makes their films scarier. It does not and for Get Out, Peele and Abels have integrated the score perfectly throughout each scene.
Jordan Peele was a very public Hillary supporter and is a proud liberal in real life, but he does not let his politics get in the way of a great story. Yes, he has weaved some politics into it, but as political as I am, it did not bother me. I was able to enjoy Get Out simply by watching a superbly crafted thriller. I was skeptical one just how good this film was going to be. It garnered an almost unprecedented 99% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I mean some of the great directors of all time have never scored that high with their films. I was unsure just how much I was going to like Get Out. I mean 99%?! C’mon, how good can a horror/thriller film shot on a miniscule budget with a man known for comedy actually be? In this instance, I was pleasantly surprised. This is an excellent film.
Get Out – ****1/2 out of 5
Get Out – Rated R for language, graphic violence, sexual situations and gore
Get Out – Run Time is 104 minutes. There is an alternate edition that I did not watch that has an alternate ending which runs 108 minutes long. I watched the theatrical cut.
Get Out is now available on DVD, On Demand and subscription services.