It is probably best to go into this racially charged comedy-horror with very little prior knowledge – don’t read about it, don’t watch the trailer. Go in not knowing anything and the plot twists will be even more shocking.
Get Out is the directorial debut of Jordan Peele (of US comedy duo Key and Peele) and it’s clear that this was a real passion project for him as it is very emblematic of the political climate in a post-Obama America.
The story follows a young black man, Chris, who goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend but starts to realise that something is amiss. To go into any more detail on the plot than this would be a disservice as it takes some real curveballs that are at times shocking and at other times (purposefully) laugh-out-loud funny. This is thanks to Chris’s friend Rod, who acts as the mouthpiece interspersed throughout to pepper in some comic relief.
Peele’s writing highlights the treatment of African Americans in the modern day in the turns that the plot takes but also in more nuanced ways. For example, there is a scene in which a white woman is eating lucky charms separately from a glass of milk, symbolizing the separation between white people and other races. Even though it sometimes lacks subtlety, the balance of laughs and sheer horror works perfectly thanks to Peele’s writing and direction.
In terms of the performances, Daniel Kaluuya is captivating as Chris as he descends deeper into paranoia as the film goes on while the Armitage family are all played with such unnervingly creepy charm that it really adds to the tense atmosphere.
While it has been classed as a horror movie, it is not as bloody and violent or as loaded with jump scares as you may expect from a film of that genre. Instead the scares are psychological and leave a more lasting effect on the audience, much like Split – another recent film by the low budget production company Blumhouse. The first two-thirds act as a psychological thriller as we see some unusual goings-on before it explodes into a terrifying final act.
Get Out is a rare beast of a horror movie that is filled with an unexpected amount social commentary, levity and depth while also packing the tension that audiences are looking for.
4 out of 5