Review: Get Out

Get-Out

Get Out follows a young African-American photographer, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) on his daunting visit to meet the wealthy parents of his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). The film explores themes of casual racism, white supremacy and eugenics. It is a wonderfully tense horror, cutting social commentary and an all-round joy to watch.

The Armitage family are a mysterious clan who give Chris a warm welcome, seemingly unphased by the colour of his skin. They present themselves as a liberal and accepting family who “would have voted Obama in for a third term” if they could. However, there is something rather sinister about the family and the suburban community in which Chris finds himself, as it is a hotspot for missing African American individuals.

Jordan Peele has quickly become the first African American writer-director to create a film that has reached the $100m milestone with the recent release of his fantastic directorial debut Get Out and it’s easy to see why. His venture from his typical comedic background is one grounded in his love for the genre. His expertise in both genres is clear as he perfectly times every frightful moment, he builds tension and though moments of comedy and awkward humour breaks it with ease. Peele expertly manipulates the audience, the camera remains uncomfortably close to the action creating a feeling of entrapment and apprehension while the violin-heavy soundtrack builds upon the cinematography to leave me, and I assume many others, in a state of turmoil.

The cast excels; Kaluuya and Williams are fantastic as the film’s leading couple. Bradley Whitford as Rose’s father is unsettling throughout, particularly in a pivotal and symbolic bingo scene, while Rose’s younger brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) is fantastically creepy, especially in an awkward dinner scene in which his near-villainous advances threaten to give the game away. A chilling performance from Catherine Keener as Rose’s hypnotising mother adds to the tense and unusual ‘meet the family’ experience while Chris’ friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery) provides a necessary comic relief throughout.

The true excellence of the film lies in the writing. Peele’s intricate attention to detail in the script warrants multiple viewings as the subtext of every conversation completely changes as the film continues, allowing an audience to pick up on the foreshadowing as the film builds to a dramatic crescendo. Peele’s writing excels due to the social commentary he includes within, layering in messages about subtle racism within liberal America.

Jordan Peele’s excellently creates a believable horror narrative, avoiding the pitfall of naïve characters and instead opting to entrap the protagonist through means out of his control rather than his own stupidity. The film also pulls away from jump scares, opting for psychological scares that will stick with you throughout the night.

Overall, Get Out is a must-see as it encapsulates horror and social thriller to offer an analysis of modern society while remaining extremely engaging, teeth-grindingly tense and equally horrific.

Get Out is is cinemas across the UK now. Image source: Rogerebert.com