| A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.
This is such a clever film. Not only does it have a thrilling and often shocking plot, but it also brilliantly interweaves the horror/mystery element with hilarious comedy and strong social satire. Brilliantly directed by Jordan Peele from start to finish, with an immediately unsettling atmosphere, Get Out is a riveting watch right from the start.
It was written and directed by Jordan Peele of the comedy team Key and Peele. Peele proves to be a more than capable first-time director in this spine- tingling tale, and he loves paying homage to a number of the genre classics that have obviously inspired him while never going to far as to lose originality. With shades of everything from “The Stepford Wives” to “Night of the Living Dead”, Peele is obviously an affectionate fan of old-school horror, and weaves in subtle and rewarding parallels that other fans might pick up on. His eye for composition is quite stirring and I was really taken by some genuinely effective uses of extreme wide and extreme closeups that pleasantly reminded me of some of the greats like Hitchcock and even Sergio Leone in a few key moments. He knows how to build suspense, keeping us guessing until a denouement that’s frightening and compelling, if a little implausible.
The script is a great deal of fun, and Peele’s handling of characters and the subtle racism of old-school societal expectation leads to many moments of pure gold. While he never lets up on the ever-growing and slowly building sense of tension and intrigue, he injects just enough humor of the film (much of which relates to a delightful character played by Lil Rel Howery) to give the audience breathing room and supply some genuine laughs.
“Sink into the floor”
The cast is just perfect. Kaluuya is endlessly likable and plays his lead role in a very thoughtful way. You always get the sense that there’s a lot going on beneath the surface, even when he tries to play it cool for the sake of his relationship, and there’s a lot of really nice moments that delve into his past that give Kaluuya some good material to sink his teeth into. Williams is sweet and likable. Keener and Whitford are phenomenal in their roles and have a ton of great moments. While you know something is definitely up with them… you haven’t seen the half of it until you’ve seen the film. And supporting roles by the likes of Howery, Henderson and Gabriel (and even a small cameo-role by the great Stephen Root) are exceptionally well-played.
Really, the only thing holding the film back for me are some issues I took with the pacing and structure in the film’s second half. Whereas most films tend to outplay their welcome and go on for a bit too long, I felt “Get Out” was perhaps about 15 minutes too short, and the third act in particular rockets by in a way that made it lose some of its impact for me. There’s also a few jarring scene transitions in the moments leading up to the climax that felt inorganic, which also hurt it. The film really has an ideal first two acts… and merely a pretty decent, but not quite great finale.
“Get Out” is an inventive, insightful and very entertaining film. Although admittedly influenced by “The Stepford Wives”, what happens in this movie and why it’s happening is original and sheds fresh light on the subtler manifestations of racism in America, even from sympathetic and well-meaning people and groups. In fact, it’s easy to see this movie as one mainly about racism, but generally, as a movie fan, I see it mainly as a well-crafted horror film.
‘Get Out’ gets an 8.4/10
Shot on 35's Rating Sheet: 9.5 – 10.0: Excellent! 8.5 – 9.5: Fantastic, but with minor flaws 7.5 – 8.5: Great, but with issues 6.5 – 7.5: Okay, but with major issues 5.5 – 6.5: Had potential, but falls flat hard. 4.5 – 5.5: Disaster!
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