When you hear that Jordan Peele is going to have a new film, your mind instantly goes to comedy. But when you hear that it is going to be a horror film, your curiosity is piqued. That was certainly the case with Get Out. It deals with a black man, Chris, in an interracial relationship going to visit his girlfriend’s parents. The issue comes with not only the stress of meeting your loved one’s parents for the first time, the extra stress of not knowing how they will perceive the interracial aspect but something is off as soon as they get there.
Peele crafts the tension perfectly. One can assume that Chris is just being a little paranoid about the situation and letting his imagination get the best of him. His girlfriend, Rose, constantly reassures him that things are okay. But when he gets there the parents are a little too nice while some of the family friends treat Chris like cattle. Then things get even stranger when Chris meets the only other black pepple and they’re all a little off kilter.
For his directorial debut, Jordan Peele, who also wrote the screenplay, has knocked it out of the park. This harkens back to more old school horror as you’re aware that something is off from the beginning but the temsion slowly ramps up before the inevitable turn that puts it into full horror movie territory. Peele also never forgets his comedic roots as humor fomes from those uncomfortable moments that we’ve all experienced in day to day life but the situation at hand. The best comedic moments come from Chris’ best friend, Rod, who frequently points out the absurdity of the situation but may actually be onto something.
The cast is also top notch. Daniel Kaluuya as Chris is the standout and this performance will put him on many people’s radar. He has to convey a series of different emotions and sometimes within seconds of each other. Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener and Caleb Landry Jones as the Armitages provide a good counter to Kaluuya. If they did not work as well as they did, the film certainly would not. Lil Rey Howery is the real breakout as Rod. The concerned friend who provides the lighthearted moments to balance out the more serious elements.
Get Out is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in some time. It does not rely on cheap jump scares, though they are in the film. Instead a well thought out story and social commentary help underline the horror elements and create a full picture. This is a must see of the year. Though it is early in the year, my favorite movie of the year.