Get Out (2017)
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring; Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Lil Rel Howery
By Paul Berrington
Mostly played for laughs but always subversively creepy, Get Out is suitably nasty, yet always clever enough to pull off attempts at genre reinvention, embody its subject of race, and also be completely entertaining as a thrilling contemporary horror film.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) faces one of the first true tests of any relationship – meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. “Do they know I’m black,” he asks Rose (Allison Williams), his white girlfriend, who insists her folks are certainly not racist. Indeed at first, Rose’s family seem overtly liberal, almost awkwardly so, and it’s not until dinner, when brother Jeremy weirds him out, that Chris starts think something might be a little off.
A close encounter with mother Missy, a hypnotherapist slash psychiatrist, deepens Chris’s fears, soon suspecting that he’s being groomed for something he doesn’t fully understand. Seeking the help of best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery), who takes on the role of sleuth, Chris inevitably walks through murkier waters as he tries to find out just what fuck is up with the Armitage clan.
The directional debut of Jordan Peele, known for his comedic skit show Key & Peele, this film is hardly considered the future of horror. Yet the effectiveness of Get Out isn’t always in the metaphors and sharp social commentary, it’s also a gutsy rollercoaster vividly brought to life through frenetic set pieces and hyper stylised violence.
Slowly revealing its secrets with a satirical glee delivered through a series of compelling vignettes, Get Out only occasionally feels contrived and maybe tries a little too hard, when already, you’ve been caught up in the sensational pacing. Mostly this is film making that feels fresh, slightly shocking, and supremely stylish. A genre film that flips traditions, messes with conventions, but then still manages to scare the pants off you.