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Film Review: ‘Get Out’

1 March 2017 Film and Television


By: Cameron Hoover
Photo courtesy of indiewire.com

Director: Jordan Peele
Studio: Blumhouse Productions
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Rating:

I don’t think anyone expected this from Jordan Peele. Made famous by his comedy sketch show, Key & Peele, a psychological horror film seemed like an odd choice for the comedian to make his directorial debut. It was a big risk, but I am glad to say that this film is an absolute triumph, and I can’t wait for what Peele does next.

The story begins as Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) prepares to meet his girlfriend, Rose’s (Allison Williams), parents for the first time. Chris learns that Rose’s parents don’t know that he’s black, and he automatically assumes the worst. But Rose assures him that they’re not racist, so he reluctantly agrees to go.

Chris goes and meets Rose’s mother (Catherine Keener) and father (Bradley Whitford), a psychiatrist and a neurosurgeon, respectively, at their upscale pseudomansion. Chris quickly figures out that everything may not be as it seems at the house, however, and needs to, well, get out.

That’s really all I want to say about the story, because it’s so brilliant that I want you to go and see it for yourself.

First of all, Daniel Kaluuya is going to be a star. If you saw him in Season 1, Episode 2 of Black Mirror, you know what he brings to the table: humor, intelligence and raw emotion. You pull for him throughout the entire film because he brings so much fiery emotion and passion into the role. After this performance, you can expect more film studios to come knocking on his door. He’s going to be the next big thing, and if he isn’t, then he should be.

Lil Rel Howery plays Chris’s friend Rod, who acts as comic relief throughout the film. His character is a TSA agent who helps Chris’s cause towards the end. He is a scene-stealer in this film. His line delivery and timing is perfect, and he works in mostly every scene he’s in. He doesn’t just make dumb jokes though. He actually sort of catches onto everything before Chris even does, and it’s really fun to see.

The main selling point of this film for me though is how smart it is. The film takes a deep examination at race, and the stereotypes that pervade our society. The film could’ve tackled overt racism: calling someone the N-word, talking about slavery, etc. But it chose not to. It chose to talk about the little nuances that people of color have to deal with every day. The film expects the viewer to be smart and not expect the obvious, and it sort of promises you not to give you the obvious. The story lags behind throughout its too-long second act, but the fast action of the finale leaves you on the edge of your seat. The ending is damn near perfect. It’s the complete opposite of what you expect.

The film isn’t perfect though. Rose’s mother, the hypnotizing psychiatrist Missy, is underused in my opinion. She feels like the classic example of a character who is only there to give exposition and drive the plot forward, but then isn’t really necessary for the rest of the film. Also, I think she was miscasted. I would have definitely tried to find a much creepier actress for the role. It seemed like she was trying to be a creepy villainous sort of character, but it just didn’t really click.

The editing and shot framing were pretty bland at some points. There was only one shot that I feel as though will be memorable a month from now. The sound design was solid as well.

All in all, Jordan Peele knocked this one out of the park. It was fun, scary, humorous, sad and thought-provoking, and it all came together at the end in a satisfying manner. Peele crushed my expectations, and I can’t wait to see what his mind comes up with next.


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