Get Out (2017)
R | 1h 43min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery | 24 February 2017
Review – Matt Mungle
Most are familiar with Jordan Peele from his Key and Peele comedy skits with buddy Keegan-Michael Key. GET OUT is his first time directing but you wouldn’t know it. This slick horror/comedy is the bees knees. Peele wrote the screenplay as well doing a full 180 from last years Keanu; which he wrote and starred in.
There is a lot about GET OUT that works. It is a modern horror story but has a classic feel to it. Remove some of the current gadgets and this film could take place in any decade. The characters are timeless and the pace is slow and steady like some 70s and 80s thrillers. The story is simple enough in its concept. Yet the layers are thick and juicy giving the viewer an edge of the seat thrill ride. There is a palpable tension that runs underneath the entire film. You will find you are holding your breath without even realizing it.
Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) is bringing her new black boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her white family. This premise has been done several times in the comedy and drama realms. Chris of course has his reservations despite Rose’s assurance that all will be fine. Once they arrive it is clear that her parents are trying hard to appear at ease. Things go from bad to worse when the Armitage family throw a big get together and invite all their even stranger friends over. Also, Chris begins to notice that the few black people he meet all act peculiar. It isn’t hard to figure out that things are not as they appear to be.
As a black man Peele writes the story from that perspective. There is a lot of “white folks” humor in this as we see Chris react to the overtly stereotypical Armitage family. In fact the film comes close to being racist. Luckily the humor and writing create a tone that never feels threatening or agenda driven. It is just a “what if” scenario that blossoms into a well done horror film. Films like The Stepford Wives create these odd settings where the one person just feels like all is not right. In this case that person is a young black man in the midst of some cult like shenanigans. Everyone else pretends not to notice but the audience is easily on the side of the hero.
There is a lot of humor in this film; most coming from Chris’ best friend Rod (LilRel Howery). Like Navin’s family in The Jerk, Rod doesn’t trust whitey. He tells Chris not to go with Rose and then becomes even more concerned later on. Rod is a TSA agent and pretty convinced they want to turn Chris into a sex slave. His character cuts the tension just enough so that when the horror moments happen they are even more impactful. It is easy to tell that Peele tapped into his hilarious comedy roots to create Rod.
GET OUT is an R rated film for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references. If you are expecting a Look Who’s Coming For Dinner you will be a tad bit shocked. This is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Pictures. Same company behind films like Hush, The Purge, Insidious, and others. They are fantastic and tops in this genre. But you also know what you are getting in to. So leave the kids and the conscious at home and just enjoy the ride. I give GET OUT 4 out of 5 bingo cards. Congrats to Peele – My man! – on his directorial debut and to the cast for bringing it home.