Get Out

Jack Brink

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Rating: R

Score: 9 out of 10

Released on Feb. 24, 2017, Get Out was a surprising smash hit, garnering over $100 million dollars in box office and holding an almost perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 99%. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise however, as director and comedic genius Jordan Peele has delivered an absolute masterclass in horror that, combined with a perfect mixture of thrills and comedy, is also able to touch on important themes of racism in the modern United States.

When photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a black man, is finally meeting his white girlfriend Rose Armitage’s (Allison Williams) parents, he is very apprehensive, fearing that his race will bother them. At first, they seem accepting, but their acceptance soon gives way to creepiness, as Chris begins to meet the black servants of the house, as well as the other members of Rose’s family. Soon entrapped in an unbelievable horror, with one of the only people able to save him being his TSA officer friend, Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), Chris must fight to stay alive.

Get Out clearly uses the growing racial tensions in the United States as a story-telling device, a device that helps amp the suspense and tension of the movie itself a thousand fold. We already feel nervous and uncomfortable when Chris first meets Rose’s parents, because that is unfortunately a real thing people feel nervous about in real life. The more “white” each character acts, the creepier they become and the more scared we become of them – a poignant method of showing how many black people feel towards white people in today’s society, with the many police shootings and other racial controversies that have happened. By heavily using themes of race in his story, Jordan Peele has done an excellent dual job of both telling an important message, as well as building horror that sadly hits very close to reality.

Peele doesn’t solely rely on racial themes for his horror however, as he also adds in multiple other themes that are near and dear to today’s society, such as the loss of free will, the guilt of not helping someone you could have, and broken trust. These are all also very real fears we as people have, so to see them manifested on screen in such a big and momentous way is very startling to us. He opts for a methodical pace to the story’s build up, which means we slowly learn the truth about Rose’s family and what exactly the horror is that Chris has gotten into. This slow burn build up warms us up with fear for the film’s big reveal, and since we have been built up with so much fear and suspense already, the big reveal shocks us to our very core. He does everything right as a director, and breaks the mold of current horror movie directors (as Shyamalan’s “Split” did) by not relying on jump scares and gross out horror to frighten the audience. If Peele is directing more horror movies to come, then the future of the horror genre is in very good hands.

Kaluuya and Williams both do fine in their roles, and Kaluuya especially does a great job of portraying desperation and fear, but the real show stealer here is Howery’s TSA agent Rod. He is an absolute joy to watch on screen, and his comedic presence gives a much-needed break from the constant tension of the film. Everything Rod says is pure gold, almost every line making me belly laugh. His constant barrage of racially charged jokes are consistently funny, and very akin to what you might hear on a Key and Peele skit. These jokes allow us to look at a more lighthearted view of the racial conflicts going on in the world, one that all people can agree with and laugh at. Howery does a marvelous job of always being a comedic force, while never losing a sense of fear in the character that makes him seem too silly or not concerned enough with the plot at hand. He is able to stand out while not drawing tension away from the main plot of the story, which is what a perfect supporting will always do.

The comedy in the film in general is great, surprisingly because it is a horror movie after all, and unsurprisingly because this is Jordan Peele, we are talking about. There are so many good bits of humor and hidden gags in the movie – it is amazing they do not take away from the horror film at all. Nevertheless, they really, truly, do not at all, as the contrast between the comedy and the creepy makes the comedy funnier and the creepy creepier.

Get Out truly is a terrific movie from start to finish, with no part of the film really lacking much at all. While the final act is awesome and brutal, it’s just a little disappointing that it wasn’t drawn out more after all the slow build up that had been done. The closing minutes feel like they go by excessively quick, and a few more minutes of them would not have hurt at all. The ending itself is not the problem; it is just how quickly it happened.

Get Out is a modern classic and will, undoubtedly, go down as one of the best horror films of all time. With a perfect mixture of horror and comedy, as well as important themes that touch up on problems that today’s society often faces, it is a must watch for any person of any race.

So “Get Out” of your house and go see it. I am sorry, but I had to say that.

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