When people said this film was amazing, I had no idea they meant in this way. It’s 99% on Rotten Tomatoes & has received rave reviews from critics & audience alike. Get Out is unlike any other film & that’s why it is incredible.
It’s the first film by comedian Jordan Peele in his directorial debut, written by him too. It stars Daniel Kaluuya in the lead, with Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener & Lil Rel Howery. Get Out follows Chris, a young black guy in America who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend.
Chris is the lead, a successful photographer living a successful happy life but with a trauma hidden behind that. You instantly root with him because of how hard he tries, despite the bad feelings he is getting from all sides – you feel sympathetic for the situation he’s been placed in, & that’s what makes him an actually decent horror film lead that you really, truly want to win. Daniel Kaluuya is amazing as the protagonist, & gives an amazing performance that really isn’t one to be forgotten.
Chris’s other half is his girlfriend of five months, Rose. She’s the epitome of the cool girlfriend anybody would want: smart, clever, funny & only sees the best in people. She’s amazing at reassuring Chris when needed, & comforting him. Allison Williams in her film debut is really brilliant, & is really one not to be underestimated.
The only character outside of Rose’s family connections we meet is Chris’ best friend & dog-sitter, Rod. He’s a TSA worker who is immensely proud of his position, & is actually a lot more than just the comedic relief needed in the film. His whole character is loyal, & trusting & gut trusting, & Lil Rel Howery really does play him excellently.
Rose’s parents are Missy & Dean Armitage, played by greats Catherine Keener & Bradley Whitford. Dean is the awkward, trying to be cool Dad & Missy is absolutely the type of person who makes you feel really, really unsettled but you can’t figure out why – they feel like people you (& Chris) should be able to love but there’s some part of you telling you not to. Really excellent.
The final Armitage is Jeremy, Rose’s brother. He is immediately off putting in his entire persona, but it’s put down to him being a little bit of an alcoholic, or the over protective brother trying to scare the boyfriend. Caleb Landry Jones fills Jeremy with subtleties whilst simultaneously being the least subtle of the family – a real tough task to pull off but he does it flawlessly.
While horror films aren’t usually acclaimed for the actor’s performances, Get Out really deserves praise for it. It’s only really in hindsight that you realise how meticulously crafted each performance was, & how excellently each actor – even the ones in smaller roles – portrays that.
These smaller roles are Marcus Henderson as groundskeeper Walter; Betty Gabriel as housekeeper Georgina & Lakeith Stanfield as Andrew Logan King. These are the performances that are the most mind blowing. They are creepy & intriguing as you’re watching it for the first time, & phenomenal in hindsight or on a second watch. There’s tiny tiny little clues in everything from their movement to their facial expressions & everything is incredible. In awe of these three, totally.
It’s really cleverly written – it’s a rarity for a horror film to not be cheesy. It’s a slow build that has a few classic horror, not-part-of-the-plot jump scares to get you in the mood before it gets more intricate, but it evolves into so much more than your typical horror mystery film – think more It Follows than The Conjuring.
It’s also set up in a way that reminds me of Cabin in the Woods (& not just for Bradley Whitford). It’s a horror that warns the victim in so many ways, so many puzzle pieces that are telling him to get out but he pushes it all aside & stays. It works because all the emotions & feelings throughout are real & relatable: Chris’s discomfort is real; Rose’s chagrin with the way her family is behaving is real.
It’s also original in that it’s full of comedic moments & relief, yet it doesn’t make the film any less scary, instead somehow more terrifying by making it feel more real. It’s the authentic-ness of the scenarios that make it all the more plausible, & that’s what has made it the modern classic it will undoubtably be. The eventual reveal is also so unexpected & unpredictable, something that despite all the publicity & talk around the film still came as a surprise to the audience.
The only criticism I would have is that the opening scene leaves a few questions & I don’t think was really needed for the story – but then again, what would a horror film be without a scary opening?
Obviously it’s impossible to not acknowledge that the premise of this entire film is drawn from racism in the United States.
I work in a cinema, & whilst on shift the other night a woman came out mid-way through a screening of Get Out for a breather & a bottle of cider. She was only somewhere at the start of the film, before the horror really kicks in & was really anxious. She was black, & she told me: “This film is everything that has happened to me in my life & I know it’s just going to get really scary so I needed to take a break!”.
But the beauty of the film is that this obvious reflection of real racism isn’t produced to feel like a huge statement. Instead, it’s a vital point that’s seamlessly woven into the story, that cleverly makes you think in the back of your mind while you focus on the story. The questions are presented to you rather than any statements or opinions being made & that’s why it’s a film that’s so desperately relevant & needed. Jordan Peele needs to makes more films, & stat, because they are so cleverly pieced together in such a subtle way that it’s unlike anything else.
The cinematography is really gorgeous. Director of photography Toby Oliver filled it with beautiful imagery & slowly expanding shots, & really beautiful colouring that is so subtly vivid & full.
The score is so affective! It’s classic horror film music, but really unique at the same time, & composed by Michael Abels. It’s full of music that sounds like it should be peaceful but somehow makes you feel unsettled, which is exactly what the set up of the story is. The soundtrack also features music from Childish Gambino, & Dirty Dancing surprisingly.
I was pleasantly surprised by how different it was than what I expected. It’s everything I admire in a film – unpredictable, has you totally transfixed with amazing performances & an amazing script. At no point did I know what was going to happen next.
Get Out is fresh, clever & important. Go see it.
Get Out is in cinemas now.