When I first saw trailers for Get Out I was immediately curious. I didn't really know what to make of it, and then I heard that it was written and directed by Jordan Peele (for those of you who live under a rock, how do you have access to the Internet to be able to read this? Also, Jordan is one half of the comedic duo behind sketch comedy show Key and Peele) and that really sparked my curiosity. I just got back from seeing this one in theaters and I wanted to write about it while is was fresh in my head, so away we go! I'll try to keep the spoilers light, but don't say I didn't warn you.
So as I mentioned, this film is the directorial debut of comedian Jordan Peele. This being a horror movie, I was curious to see how it would turn out and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Before I get too far into this review I do want to mention that at the time of this writing Get Out is sitting at a perfect 100% certified fresh from critics based on 131 reviews, and that's pretty amazing for a first time director if you ask me. The film star Daniel Kaluuya of Sicario and Kick-ass 2 fame, and is backed up by a stellar supporting cast including the likes of Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, and Stephen Root. For those of you keeping score, that's this guy:
There are a couple of side characters in this movie as well that I absolutely love, but more on them later.
Where do I even begin with this film? I guess let's start with the story. I was kind of surprised with the amount of social commentary Peele put into Get Out and you can tell that he made is voice heard in this film. It's a simple enough story: guy goes with his girlfriend to visit her parents for the first time and weird things happen. It's a story that is instantly relatable so it's easy to get invested in Kaluuya's character. While there were a few horror tropes included (jump scares, etc.) they were few and far between which was appreciated. Also, while I was able to predict some elements of the story - mainly that the girlfriend was involved - it was original enough that it kept me guessing as to what degree she was involved (even second guessing myself that she was) and how deep the whole thing went, as well throwing some curve balls that I didn't see coming. Get Out also offers an interesting look on racism and how, especially considering current events, it's still a very real problem we face as a society. Additionally, for being a horror movie there was a decent amount of comedy in here as well, but more on that later.
Before I talk about acting, I want to give special props to the technical aspects of this movie. It was very well directed, no shaky camerawork to be found. The pacing was excellent; slow enough to make the film feel intense while not too slow as to become boring. The lighting was used well and overall there wasn't a single distracting element that I could find (other than the audience I saw the movie with, but I've been in worse. Go listen to our review of The Witch if you're curious about that.)
And now, on to acting. As I mentioned earlier, the supporting cast for this film was very strong, but Kaluuya's performance in this movie was nothing to scoff at either. It doesn't come anywhere close to the Oscar-worthy performance I wrote about last month in Split, but it's solid nonetheless. The characters aren't overly complicated and the relationships are believable, largely in part to the ability of the actors to create organic (and sometimes purposefully inorganic) conversation. There is one character in particular that I want to mention and is Rod Williams played by Lil Rel Howery. This has to be one of the funniest characters I've seen on screen in a long time, and he absolutely steals every scene he is in. Normally I would think the amount of comedy he brings would completely offset the horror element but it doesn't. It does serve as a nice break of tension without taking anything away from overall creepiness of the film. There is one scene that stands out vividly where he goes on a rant about sex slaves and Jeffrey Dahmer. It had the entire theater cracking up, me especially.
Overall, I feel Get Out absolutely deserves its 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and I would encourage everyone to see it. It's always refreshing when an original horror movie comes out to remind us all (especially Aaron) that horror movies can be and are good! They're also bad, I know, but every genre has its stinkers. Sure, horror may have more stinkers than most, but it just makes that diamond in the rough all the more special, and Get Out is certainly one of those special movies. I'll be interested to see of Jordan Peele continues his directorial career. I feel he can really go places, but those are just my thoughts. What did you think of Get Out? Let me know in the comments! As always, I'd love to hear from you.