Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a horror/thriller that has shaken up the way we look at the entire horror genre. The film came out on February 24th and has since been showered with praise from critics. Get Out earned an impressive 99% on the Tomatometer, and after watching it, I completely understand why.
The film tells the story of Chris, an African American male, who goes home with his Caucasian girlfriend to meet her parents. Obviously, since it’s a horror movie, things take a turn for the worst relatively quickly. Chris starts to notice that her family is acting strange (strange is an understatement) and what happens next left the viewers completely shocked.
The film focused on racism in a more modern context which has not previously been represented. Often times, racism in films is usually depicted in the most explicit way possible, while this film does the complete opposite. There was never anything too openly aggressive. No one said the n-word. No one did anything explicitly racist, but the film was flooded with micro-aggressions.
For example, when the main African American character, Chris, meets his girlfriend’s parents, her father immediately tells him that he voted for Obama with no context. The only thing that warrants this comment is the fact that Chris is black. Other characters mention smaller things like how great Tiger Woods is, how Chris is built to be an athlete, and other subtle digs. The film even plays on current issues with relations between African Americans and police officers.
The opening scene (no spoilers I promise) starts with an African American male walking alone in the suburbs at night. Many horror movies have done the typical opening murder scene to get the audience engaged. For example, in Scream, the film opens with the murder of a cameo character before we even meet the main characters. Before we meet the main characters in Get Out, we get a preview of what’s about to come… and what’s about to come is absolutely insane.
Another major factor in what made this film so great was the acting. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris Washington, was absolutely incredible. I’d be sincerely surprised if he didn’t win some kind of award for this. The supporting characters were all very impressive as well, but Kaluuya made the entire movie come together. Chris’s best friend Rod, played by LilRel Howery, was the ultimate comedic relief. His commentary in the film were certainly representative of Peele’s sense of humor.
Peele is know for his excellent work with comedy, but this certainly surpassed expectations. It still had that comedic flavor that we love, but it was equally thrilling and terrifying. Horror movies can get very redundant, but Get Out is quite possibly one of the most original horror films we’ve seen in a very long time.
Movies that cover real-world problems are a recurring theme of the past year and I couldn’t be happier. Films like Moonlight, Fences, and Lion all tackle important issues and have been critically acclaimed for doing so. Get Out was certainly controversial, as any film covering racial issues can be, but it does an excellent job of explaining modern racism in a way that’s not too offensive or abrasive.
The film was certainly thought-provoking and thrill-ride right up until the end. Personally, I’m still shaken up by it (not just because I’m weak and can’t handle horror films). Just when you think you know what’s happening, the movie takes another twist.
I’m no movie critic, but this film gets an A+ in my book. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do yourself a favor and go ASAP.
P.S. if you want the best overall experience, try to see it in a crowded theatre. The audience reactions are part of what made this film so fantastic.