Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Lil Rel Howery
Director: Jordan Peele
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Rating: R for Deer in Places They Shouldn’t Be and Hypnosis From Hell
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Get Out, the directorial debut from comedian Jordan Peele, is a film where the less you know about the plot, the better. The premise is quite simple: since Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached about five months of dating, she takes him upstate to meet her parents. Chris concludes that her parent’s attitudes are a nervous reaction to the fact that her white daughter is dating an African-American man, but, as the weekend goes on, he discovers a bigger, more dangerous, conspiracy that he’s about to be a part of.
It’s no secret that the film’s plot deals with the topic of race, and what it feels like to be a black man in today’s America by taking situation of being an outsider and pushing it to the extreme in a horror setting. This film isn’t trying to teach anyone a lesson (though if “racism is bad” was a lesson you haven’t already learned, then maybe you should rethink your ideals), but instead uses the subject of race to advance the story.
When Chris addresses all of Rose’s family and their friends, audiences are shown multiple exchanges that seem that they’re doing more harm than good, most notably the memorable “I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could,” line from Rose’s father. It turns the “I’m not racist, but,” mindset into something more sinister, especially once you uncover their secret. When you first meet these people and they spout lines like, “I hear black is in,” you think to yourself, “Oh, these are like the white people I know who are so nervous to say something wrong, they spout words even more ignorant, ” but, as you later learn, they have even more fucked up intentions.
One great thing about this film is that Jordon Peele doesn’t shy away from his comedic roots. The hilarious moments sprinkled throughout periods of suspense make for wonderful pacing, feeling as if the two plus hours spent in the theatre fly by. Speaking of times that made me laugh, Lil Rel Howery, one of the highlights of this film, shines as a determined TSA agent who somehow becomes the voice of reason.
Another standout of this film is Allison Williams. Without giving too much away, her chemistry with Kaluuya is wonderful, making her eventual fate towards the end of the movie all that more powerful.
Get Out, in the end, relies more on suspense than horror, with a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat and a twist you might not see coming that definitely warrants a second viewing. It’s a psychological thriller reminiscent of The Stepford Wives, but with the weight of the current political climate gently resting on its shoulders.
Get Out is recommended if you like: The Stepford Wives, The Twilight Zone, Key & Peele
Grade: 4.5 out of 5 times I would have voted for Obama if I could.