When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his girlfriend’s parents for the first time, he is very quickly made aware of a large elephant in the room. As an African American, he is made to feel increasingly uncomfortable in their untactful and predominantly white town. Following a bizarre dinner party at the family estate, Chris’ suspicions are confirmed – leading to a series of horrific events.

Written and directed by one half of comedic duo, Key and Peele, Jordan Peele, Get Out presents a unique and refreshing psychological, satirical horror with the prominent theme of racism at its heart. Opening to a scene in which a black male is abducted on the street, we cut forward to a young couple as they prepare to head to the country for the weekend. We meet Chris (Kaluuya) – a successful photographer who agrees to accompany his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) to her family estate but, having expressed his fears of being introduced to her family before, Rose believes him to be paranoid. However, once there, Chris quickly discovers all is not what it seems.

Unlike previous race horrors such as Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero, 1968), where the antagonistic characters are often presented as brainless ‘red necks’ or murderous hillbillies, Get Out chooses to shine a harsher light on white, upper class America. Released at a time when social and political divide could not be more poignant, the narrative explores the horrors of modern society – the wealthy liberal elite. Much like in It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014), in which there is an ever-present fear lurking, Get Out finds its scares from generations’ worth of simmering racism and bigotry. Rose’s father, Dean (played by Bradley Whitford), is the perfect symbol of this; repeating that he “would have voted for Obama for a third term” if he could and altering his lexis when Chris is in the room. This is clearly a statement by Peele that there are various forms of racism and how black people are viewed within white communities. They may not believe themselves to be racists but inappropriate questions, statements (and actions) speak volumes.

Whilst the horror genre can easily fall in the realms of the predictable, Peele does a brilliant job of avoiding your typical jump scares. Instead, he focuses on messing with your psyche. With some visible references to Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968), The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975) and possibly even Lars Von Trier’s Manderlay (2005), it is clear that Peele is in good stead as a director when handling the horror genre. Though this does not stop him from using his comedic roots where appropriate – providing the perfect level of comic relief in the form of Chris’ best friend, Rod (LilRel Howery) of whom is easily a highlight of the entire film and acts as the voice of the audience. Ultimately, it is clear that Peele has done his research and, combined with his writing, this says a lot about the standard we can come to expect from him as a future director.

What starts out as a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1968) narrative, very quickly turns to Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2016) or even a Black Mirror-esque psychological thriller. In many horrors, we find ourselves wondering why the protagonist doesn’t just get the hell out of there while they can but Peele does a fantastic job of balancing Chris’ character between unnerving paranoia and perception. When, naturally, his suspicions are confirmed, the events soon escalate in a believable fashion but always with added surprised along the way. Furthermore, as the plot reveals itself in a more shocking way, Peele clearly understands not to scoop on the cathartic spectacle which gives Get Out much of its success.

In terms of the cast, there’s very little fear. Whitford successfully wavers between a state of awkward dad and a sinister creepiness which is highly entertaining. As usual, Catherine Keener delivers an excellent performance – this time as Missy, Rose’s psychiatrist mother who effortlessly shifts between hot and cold temperaments. Surprisingly, Allison Williams as Rose is able to squeeze a great deal from the character despite her not being a focal point of the narrative. However, it is Kaluuya which truly shines among this all-star cast. Arguably at the beginning of his career, known more famously for his roles in British sitcom, Psychoville and most recently Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015), we can certainly expect to see big things from him in the future.

A tense and intelligent satire from start to finish, Get Out is easily one of the best films of 2017 already. With very little flaws to be found and so many wonderful Easter eggs dotted throughout, it is so easy to forget that this is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut (and first film away from his comedy partner, Keegan-Michael Key). Here’s hoping that this is the first of many.

Movie Review: Get Out
4.0Overall Score
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About The Author

Sophie Elizabeth

Sophie is a film blogger from South London with a degree in Film Theory and Major Production. Sophie currently works in digital marketing but in her spare time you’ll find her writing reviews or at the cinema. Sophie loves all things Star Wars and Hollywood but having specialized in the Horror genre, monsters are her first love. She’ll watch absolutely anything given the chance – you can find her also on her blog, http://www.popcornandglitter.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophieathawes