Directed by Jordan Peele
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Alison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
This fantastic and creatively ballsy horror comedy likely has one of the most striking titles of this year. A title like this helps set the unease throughout a large portion of the film until its third act, which is very dependent on establishing a very precise feeling of welcoming hostility. It’s a very direct sort of title for a horror film (especially a horror set in one isolated location) and it appears to develop more and more different meanings as the film goes on.
Andre (Daniel Kaluuya) is a bit anxious about meeting the parents of his girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) who live in a mansion out in the woods, simply because he’s black. This white family, made up of her father, Dean (Bradley Whitford) and mother, Missy (Catherine Keener), are more than welcoming to Andre, spending just a bit of time trying to assuage any racial worries that they believe are non-existent. But his anxieties seem to increase from the off-putting presence of the mansion’s black servants, who convey to him an incredibly inhuman eeriness. Things get even more bizarre when, at the predominantly white social get-together at the mansion, Andre meets Logan (LaKeith Stanfield) the young black boyfriend of a much older white girlfriend, who also has the same odd demeanour as the servants. An accident between these two results in the film’s (perhaps) threatening title being spoken, which causes Andre’s worries about the racial tension to hit critical highs, especially when his friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery) back in the city delves on the very troublesome background on Logan.
Comedian Jordan Peel’s directorial debut uses white-black racial relations as the premise for not just a slow-burning terror, but the hilarity of uneasy situations for Andre and Rose, which end up getting worse and worse. Although the horror works best in its concept rather than in individual moments, which sometimes resort to stock tricks like predictable jump scares, it’s the situations that Andre finds himself in from scene to scene that very subtly build up the tension for him, as we realise that the comedy from the previous scene now becomes the apprehensive horror of the next. And although most of the film’s laughs come from Rod’s scene-stealing antics, the premise itself is so audaciously hysterical, utilising the craziness of the horror-comedy genre in all ways it’s able to.
Get Out is very strong filmmaking from newbie Peele at the helm, who demonstrates more than enough promise. He makes this a very fun film, constantly enjoyable in how it unravels its continuously messed-up storyline, and proves more confidence with working with actors (especially in haunting close-ups), and particularly with this kind of subject matter, than a lot of his older and more experienced contemporaries.