Get Out - 2017
Director(s): Jordan Peele
Writer(s): Jordan Peele
Cinematography by: Toby Oliver
Editor(s): Gregory Plotkin
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford and Caleb Landry Jones.
Synopsis: A young black man meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Coming in to the situation expecting a weird reaction from her parent, since it’s her first non-white boyfriend she brings home, he gets a little more than some awkward interactions from her family.
This has to be one of the most impressive genre debuts for a first-time director in Jordan Peele. He took what could’ve easily been a premise for a sketch on his Comedy Central show, Key and Peele, and made it grounded, real and genuinely creepy. Playing with stereotypes like the one of a “white family” meeting the daughter’s black boyfriend and making it a suspenseful and thrilling premise for a movie is pure genius. This theme has been touched on many times before in countless comedic movies, but he flipped our expectations on their heads to deliver a great twist in the end. He also demonstrated a great eye behind the camera, especially in how the camera flowed as it followed the characters around. For this being his first film, the sky is the limit for his next feature films.
Peele brought out great performances from everyone involved. The cast played to their parts to a point that you believe (that they believe) in all their beliefs and actions. The main character, played by Daniel Kaluuya (Black Mirror), showed great range throughout the entire movie, going from a comedic tone to a scared-out-of-his-mind tone seamlessly. The scene shown in the trailer of him getting hypnotized is impressive on so many acting levels, the way his tears just stream down his eyes is incredible and I could never begin to understand how actors can do that on command for a scene. Another stand-out was Allison Williams, playing his girlfriend. She had never really stood out in her past performances. She is fine in Girls and wasn’t the worst thing in the live Peter Pan show debacle thing on NBC, but she proved that if given the right role and the right director to showcase her talents, she could have a long career in Hollywood.
The cinematography is at times breathtaking, especially during the “sunken place” scenes, and at times it is just creepy. For the next couple of days, I won’t be able to look at a person smiling the same way. Peele filmed some incredibly creepy smiles, focusing on them just long enough for you to really distrust the meaning behind the smile. Betty Gabriel (playing Georgina the maid) must have had some terrible pain on her face after filming her scenes, since she was almost always delivering creepy smile after creepy smile.
Peele also wrote a tight script filled with clues and hints to the twists and turns coming our way. Even though it has multiple clues, they do not oversell it and they don’t allow the audience to be a step ahead of the main character, which is incredibly important in a thriller. Having both the audience and the main character reacting to the reveals at the same time allows for the reveals to hit harder. Along with the great dialogue (both funny and creepy), he wrote some great visually impactful scenes that sell the desperation the main character is feeling.
Get out also provides a great social commentary; even though it’s on the nose at times, it never feels heavy-handed. The party the family throws is an incredible sequence that showcase how uncomfortable a minority can feel in a predominantly white party or gathering, when everyone around is making it about race instead of connecting with them on a human level.
This is the best addition to the comedy-horror genre since Shaun of the Dead, mixing well the comedy element and the horror element to a point that it never takes you out of the movie. I was genuinely creeped out in one scene being worried about what will happen next, to laughing my ass off the next. I know this genre is very niche by nature, but it’s by far one of my favorite movie genres out there. I recently read that Peele has another movie idea cooking up and I honestly can’t wait to see what his mind comes up with next. This movie creeped me out and had me laughing at the same time, and that is why I love movies.
Get Out is currently playing in theaters and it deserves your money, watch it!
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*Edited on November 28, 2017