still from get out

Review: Get Out

Director(s)Jordan Peele
Principal CastDaniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington
Allison Williams as Rose Armitage
Lil Rel Howery as Rod Williams
Release Date2017
Running Time 104 minutes

I’ll admit , as someone who actually went and bought Key and Peele Seasons 1-3 on Blu-Ray, I was more than a bit excited when I realized part of the duo that made “Substitute Teacher” was making a horror movie. I even kept myself away from trailers because I wanted to make sure I came into the movie fresh. When the credits started rolling, I was left floored. I couldn’t believe a movie could be this smart but digestible at the same time. Social commentary mixed real with horror is already not prevalent, but to take on neo-liberal racism? That’s wild. I have no doubt that in the next 15-20 years, horror fans will look back on this movie fondly as an all time great. It’s bold, innovative, and works on almost every level.

The plot focus on Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he travels with his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) to her parents house in an attempt to get to know them. Everything starts off innocuous at first but it’s not long before things start feeling off. I didn’t know what the plot was going into my first watch and only really caught on when things started becoming more direct in the third act. However, on recent re-watches it’s almost obvious what the movie is about. There are hints littered in the dialogue, scenery, and visual cues abound. It makes you appreciate just how much attention when into crafting this story, and it all pays off.

The movie is shot and scored with a finesse I’m not used to seeing. The score in particular has a distinctive feeling to it. Peele’s extra effort in incorporating black voices into the music makes the themes of the movie that much stronger. Music that’s functional, thematic, and great to listen to doesn’t happen a lot. Usually it only serves one or two of the above so getting a score that does all three is something else. The fact that Childish Gambino’s Redbone plays at the beginning of the movie is genius. It sets the tone with the way it sounds and does the same thematically with the lyrics that play.

All the performances are stellar. The romance between Rose and Chris is done well and it makes their subsequent actions make a lot of sense. I can’t say more without spoiling anything, but a lot of the actors/actresses are required to emote varied and widely distinct emotional states. Once everything starts making more sense, you begin to appreciate the performances and character actions take on a new sense of meaning. It’s amazing just how much there is to unpack. However, I can’t help but mention just how great Howery’s performance is. He had me laughing myself to tears with his delivery and cadence and absolutely gave the movie some real levity in spite of the bleak subject matter.

Finally, what makes this movie a classic is just how nuanced its take on racism is. It recognizes that anti-black discrimination is not just present in outright demonstrations of hate but also in neo-liberal forms of fetishization. It’s not white people bad (there’s an Asian man in a scene for this very reason), as some reviews might lead you to think. There’s a lot to unpack here, but one thing’s clear. Racism is more than meets the eye and it’s folly to think it’s been resolved or has easily discernible limits.

My only issue with the movie is the presence of two random jump scares that are low hanging fruit. That’s it.

Report Card

TLDRGet Out is a masterpiece in storytelling. A fresh social commentary – the story is believable and shocking. The careful attention to detail makes multiple re-watches fun and entertaining. With an impeccable score and amazing performance, this movie is one of the best to grace the screens in the past decade.
Grade A+

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