With one of the most talked about film openings of the year so far, Get Out has proved to be a surprise horror hit. By maintaining a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes for almost the entirety of its release and garnering a lot of attention around its racial themes, it has been one of the most talked about films in recent memory.
Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams, and her being white is important) as the couple go to visit Rose’s family for the weekend. With Chris yet to meet the parents, he is anxious to know whether they are aware he is black. Upon meeting the seemingly lovely family, cracks soon begin to show with the introduction of two black servants working for them who are eerily robotic and obedient, leading to a tense increase in Chris’s discomfort. We soon learn that Rose’s mother (played by Catherine Keener) is a keen hypnotist, and it doesn’t take long for her to practice this talent on Chris to disturbing results. What ensues from there is a playful but often horrific exploration into the depths of racism in America.
The film is directed by Jordan Peele, one half of comedy duo Key and Peele, so it’s no surprise that we get a darkly comedic slant on this deeply disturbing plot. Get Out deftly combines horror with laughs, which works to create an incredibly clever look into modern racism and its roots in American society – a theme so prevelant in today’s climate – without taking itself too seriously. This is a movie with subtle nods to racism and the prejudice that black people face every day, and has caused controversy, most likely due to the boldness with which it states and explores its racial themes.
Speaking of the opening to the film in particular, Peele has said ‘I felt it was important first and foremost to get the entire audience on board with the inherent fears that a black man has’. This works effortlessly – viewers of any race are made to stand in the shoes of a black man who feels out of place, and see the world through his eyes.
Considering Get Out is one of the first of Peele’s feature length ventures, it is an admirably polished piece of work. The story is concise and well crafted, the cinematography is beautifully woven in and helps to maintain the unsettling story, and the acting is on point too. Daniel Kaluuya, a British actor most recently seen in Sicario, is fascinating in his approach to the storyline, really creating a sense of unnerve and awkwardness when thrown into various scenarios throughout the film – all whilst playing the character of Chris with understated calmness.
Another great performance in the film comes from Catherine Keener, Rose’s psychiatrist mother. She oozes the creepiness needed to make this the horror movie we would expect and draws us into a state of anticipation, wondering what her real intentions are. The audience knows they can’t trust her, and she pulls it off incredibly well.
Caleb Landry Jones also gives a memorable turn as the Rose’s disturbing and intense brother, and Alison Williams does well as Rose herself, keeping the audience guessing and flicking the switch from loving girlfriend to something else entirely with ease.
Get Out will always be seen as a film of this time. With so many horrors that resonate with this film going on every day in our political and social climate, Peele couldn’t have released a more relevant and culturally appropriate film which ticks all the horror boxes as well as giving genuine comedic moments. It’s laugh out loud funny, terrifying, incredibly tense and expertly written.
We’re giving Get Out a solid 5 stars for providing audiences with the perfect cinematic response to recent events. It’s a film to entertain us as well as convey depth and meaning beyond our own imagination and for some, our own life experience. It’s well-rounded, with brilliant performances, and has earned it’s position as one of the best and biggest films of the year.
Get Out is still in cinemas now! Watch the trailer here – although be warned, it does give a lot of the game away. Go see the film blind to make the most of it!