Get Out is a new horror thriller written and directed by Jordan Peele, from the comedy duo Key and Peele. The film follows Chris, a young black man in a relationship with a white girl, Rose. Chris is going to meet Rose’s family for the first time, and is feeling nervous about this, as she hasn’t told them that he is black. When they meet there is an underlying awkwardness as her family have that uncomfortable passive racism that old rich white suburb families can sometimes have. They aren’t outwardly racist or anything, they are nice and welcoming to Chris, but they do things like say “yeah man” after everything or assume he’s into basketball, the kind of behaviour that is uncomfortable to watch and, I imagine, even more uncomfortable and stressful to be stuck in the middle of. Anyway, as the visit goes on things get weirder and weirder for Chris, and he starts to figure that something isn’t right about this family. I will leave it there plot wise because this film is full of twists and turns. I heard that the trailer spoils quite a bit of the plot so I avoided watching it. I thoroughly enjoyed Get Out. I’m not often a fan of modern horror films because, honestly, I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to jump scares, but this was an exceptionally well made film with great acting and an enjoyable plot, so I thoroughly enjoyed this film. This film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Alison Williams, LilRey Howery, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, and Caleb Landry Jones.
This film feels much more like horror films from the 80s, like the Shining or the Exorcist, that don’t just shove disposable, poorly written characters against generic monsters and don’t rely on jump scares to get a reaction from the audience. This film did have jump scares, but not many, (especially when compared to most modern horror films) and instead had an incredibly effective atmosphere and build-up of tension and horror to create fear. This film doesn’t play it safe plot wise, like a lot of modern horror films do, as it isn’t afraid to go to very weird places, but this totally works thanks to the excellent writing. It satirises subjects like race and relationships very subtly and effectively, it’s not over the top or obvious, but it is there and it gives you a lot to think about after the film finishes. The awkward and uncomfortable tone during the opening scenes of Chris meeting the family are done exceptionally well, it feels like you’re watching a family drama rather than a horror film. However, the film brilliantly combines this uncomfortable tone with the underlying sense of something not being right, and as things get weirder and weirder the awkwardness turns into fear and dread, and so when everything is eventually revealed it is satisfying and feels earned. The fact that this film is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is astounding, the cinematography is beautiful and the dialogue feels very realistic. This is enhanced by terrific performances across the board, but especially from Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, and LilRey Howery as Chris’s best friend Rod. Kaluuya sells the uncomfortableness of the situation with the family very subtly and realistically, and the very dramatic and emotional moments are acted brilliantly. You get to know him throughout the film and, overall, he is incredibly likeable and relatable as a lead character. He’s not stupid either, like a lot of horror protagonists can be, so you relate to him more as he does what anyone would probably do in this situation. Howery’s character, Chris, acts as the comic relief throughout the film, and while his scenes do feel very separate from the rest of the films horror tone, it didn’t annoy me or feel out of particularly out of place. I found him to be incredibly funny but also effective at helping make some of the weird plot points feel more realistic in the context of the film. Both Chris and Rod were incredibly likeable characters, which makes you invested in what’s going on and what threat Chris could be under. Alison Williams was also very good as Rose, she and Chris felt like a real couple and so again it adds to the tension as you want them to be ok.
I found it very hard to write a review for this film without spoiling it. I’ve tried to be vague but still get across that this is a brilliantly made and acted film. It is a tense thriller with some more gruesome and horrific moments in the final act, and even if you’re not a fan of horror films it is worth seeing because of its brilliant performances, great writing and direction, and mostly its originality.
P.S. Sorry for the short and messy review, like I said I struggled to write this one, but it is a brilliant film. I find horror films with humans as the villains scarier than demons or monsters. Not meaning that I don’t like horror films that use the supernatural because there are a lot of older ones I do like (like Evil Dead 2 and Alien), but I find horror about human beings doing horrific things (like the Shining, for example) scarier because it feels more real.