Stepping outside of one’s comfort zone is one of the most difficult things to do, especially in regards to feature filmmaking. When a particular talent is type cast or in terms of directing is known for horror, or comedy, or action, and then changes to a different genre, that is a cause for concern for some people. So when I heard Jordan Peele, one-half of the brilliant comedic minds behind Key and Peele, was tackling a horror movie as his first time directing, I was a bit skeptical. Going into the film somewhat interested by the trailers and open-minded, I exited the theater knowing I had just witnessed a truly extraordinary film.
Get Out tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). After being together for some time, Rose sees it as a good opportunity to have Chris meet her parents. They travel to their home, which is very secluded from the rest of civilization, and once there, Chris beings to realize some very strange things surrounding his girlfriend’s family.
I had very low expectations about this film in all honesty for a very long time. I had heard good things about it after it was screened at various film festivals and initial reviews were coming out. Even then I was still apprehensive, mainly because I am not the biggest horror fan, so some horror films which are widely regarded as great just do not hit the mark for me. That being said, Get Out is a fantastic film for so many reasons, and one of the biggest ones is the mind behind it all, Jordan Peele. This is his first time directing a feature film and he also wrote the screenplay for the movie. He completely knocked it out of the park, both directing and writing, creating a great piece of cinema. Jordan Peele is brilliant and extremely talented, but mainly known for his comedy, so seeing him do a horror film and do it this well is an awesome sight to see. He nailed all aspects of what makes a great thriller and definitely got reactions from the audience throughout the film. I was engaged one hundred percent in all the characters, characters which he created, along with the story which was remarkably smart. One of the biggest complaints about horror movies for me, is they always seem to revert to some form of cliche. Cliche’s in horror movies is one of my greatest pet peeves in movies, but Peele was able to stay away from really, any cliche’s, but rather borrow elements from other great horror films. Having known Peele comes from a comedy background I was expecting some form of comedy to be present in the film and it most certainly is. Jordan Peele’s comedic sense radiates throughout this movie and it was incredible for the simple fact that it did not disturb the flow of the suspense. It was implemented in the perfect way and was able to help the film, instead of hindering it, which was another brilliant move by Peele. Another thing I hail Peele for in his first time directing is the performances he was able to get out of his cast.
This cast relatively has no big star names but nonetheless should get massive amounts of praise for the work they did in this film. Daniel Kaluuya (Chris) was an actor I had not heard of prior to seeing Get Out. Now I will always remember his name as he gave an absolutely fantastic performance in this film which left his name ingrained in my mind. The whole Armitage family which consisted of Allison Williams (Rose), Catherine Keener (Missy), Bradley Whitford (Dean), and Caleb Landry Jones (Jeremy) gave stunning performances as well. They were the right amount of creepy, yet strangely likable in some instances which gave me conflicting emotions as the film progressed, but in a great way. LaKeith Stanfield (Andrew) has a small role in this film, but he is an actor I have fallen in love with ever since seeing him in a small film called Short Term 12 and later his role in the hit tv show Atlanta. He, alongside Marcus Henderson (Walter) and Betty Gabriel (Georgina), gave beautifully disturbing performances that gave me the chills. However, the one character that might have stolen the film for me was that of Lil Rel Howery (Rod). He plays the best friend of Chris and totally kills the small role he has in the movie. Every time his character was present on the screen, the theater came alive, and it was fantastic to witness.
There are very few negative things I have to say about Get Out, but one nitpick I had is the background regarding some of the characters. It is briefly talked about, but to me could have been explained a bit better, but really that is it. The pacing of this film is moderately quick and with a runtime of just under two hours, it flies by.
Get Out was a stellar directing feature film debut for Jordan Peele, who was able to tell a very suspenseful and interesting story, not to mention doubling as great social commentary in today’s society. He subtly discussed a very serious topic in his film and was able to make it work and incorporate it in an intelligent way that did not take away from the movie which other movies fail to accomplish. I was floored by this film and by the work of everyone behind it, and I highly recommend everyone seeing it.