Written and Directed by Jordan Peele
UK Release Date: 17th March 2017
Feature Running Time: 104 minutes
Its always such a scary prospect whenever it comes to that predominant stage in your long-term relationship to finally meet the girlfriend’s parents. But none is more daunting and frightening when you’re a black man dating a white girl, not knowing how her parents may take to a black fella in their daughter’s life, given the times we live in right now.
For Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African American man whom we get the signal off of straight away that he’s someone who has had to deal with being prejudiced his whole life, should have stayed firmly more attuned to his own personal instincts that meeting his girlfriend’s parents in their estate home for the first time may not turn out to be such a good idea after all.
After Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) assures Chris that she would never bring him along on the long car journey back home to meet her parents if they were even slightly borderline racist, he can never seem to fully relax. As they arrive at the Armitage family residence, the viewer is placed in the same position as Chris when upon meeting the ‘future in laws’, regardless that they mean well and seem welcoming enough, something isn’t entirely quite right with these folks as they keep their distance from Chris while at the same time prodding him with incessant questions about his own personal life. Then there’s the several house servants they have in and around their home of the same skin colour as Chris, all acting strangely and wearing clothing as if they were all living back in the Victorian times. Not to mention every other house guest watching Chris’ every move and breathing down the back of his neck as he turns his back towards them for however brief or long that might be. All of these very peculiar goings on and more, is enough to unsurprisingly spook out our protagonist just a little bit too much…
Being part satire, horror and comedy, this film shouldn’t work as well as it should but it really does and its something that’s really refreshing to see right now in the horror genre. I seem to be in the minority for having a deep love for this film that would sure raise a few eyebrows but what I will say in my defence for having really dug this film so much, is the fact I didn’t give into the hype train this time around, paying no attention to the buzz its been building and going in completely blind. Watching the first two thirds of the film without having the faintest idea what would happen next or what kind of direction (s) it was taking me into had really worked so well as it tapped into something I have rarely ever experienced when watching a horror movie. And believe me, I’ve watched lots of horror movies. In addition to this, I had allowed every aspect of this film such as the horror, the comedy, the satire and sheer psychological terror completely wash over and consume me as a spectator, which resulted in leaving me completely terrified and shaken to the core long after the end credits came rolling in.
I’ve noticed a few people mention already that they much preferred the build-up of the first two thirds before leading into the final third act that is often seen as an all too familiar conclusion in horror films that falls into the usual trap of over the top visual silliness. But I have to strongly disagree here, I found the final act in this film to be my favourite part as it took the usual trope of home invasion horror and was able to transcend it to an altogether different level.
This film also works remarkably well as a unique social commentary and director Jordan Peele is able to masterfully utilise this in his directorial debut by effortlessly blending it in with every other metaphorical message this film delivers as well as its own plot mechanics that really drives the film and hammers home the issues we face in the world at the moment. The issue of racism has always been at the height of our world’s problems and with history going backwards in both the U.S and the UK, this film couldn’t have arrived at a more poignant and relevant dark time right now.
Special mention has to be made to Kaluuya’s performance. He is exceptional in his role as Chris, the black photographer who’s both life and mind begins spiralling out of control as he descends further into insanity and pure paranoia the longer he remains a guest in the Armitage family home.
I usually post a trailer at the end of each of my film reviews but I have had to regretfully refrain myself from posting the trailer for Get Out in this one. Unfortunately, it reveals just far too much plot wise, and as I had mentioned earlier, you really owe to yourself to go into this film completely blind and remain in the dark about it. This is the kind of film that really benefits from you as a cinema goer to give it that use of treatment.
To conclude, Get Out is another superbly sublime entry to be added on to a string of recent horrors to help revitalise in the resurgence of this genre after last year’s The Conjuring 2 and Lights Out. As a debut from Peele, I’m very excited to see what he pulls out of the hat next.