Jordan Peele is a man best known as one half of the comedy duo Key & Peele, so when I first heard the news that he’d written and directed a horror film, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little surprised. Then came reports that Get Out was getting ridiculously good feedback from test screenings and, after horror having a solid year in 2016, I was hoping it’d live up to expectations. Believe the hype guys because Get Out is as good as you’ve heard.
Black photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) visit Rose’s parents for the weekend, where they will meet Chris for the very first time. Staggered by their behaviour from the very off, Chris begins to think all is not right in the home of Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener).
I absolutely loved Get Out as both a psychological and satirical horror, Jordan Peele’s imagination bringing us something quite unique within the genre and showing that he has such a big future ahead as a filmmaker. Right from the opening sequence, which is one of the best openings to a horror I’ve seen, I knew this film was going to be special. It felt almost as if I was watching a film from a seasoned director and not a man making his directorial debut, Peele exuding confidence more and more as the film rises through the levels of paranoia.
The writing is spot on as well, Peele’s background as a comedian coming into great use to blend the satire so perfectly with the horror. Peele has clearly made Get Out as a form of social commentary but he does so by keeping the audience on their toes, wondering where the film will turn next, which is one of the most important aspects of a horror film. As well as being genuinely creepy, Get Out also has some hilarious moments up its sleeve, leaving the audience in the palm of Peele’s hand.
Peele’s confidence as a filmmaker is seen further through Toby Oliver’s swift cinematography, akin to work seen in The Shining, and both Michael Abels haunting score and songs picked by Peele to accompany his twisted film.
Coming to the performances, Get Out excels above many horror films with a talented and strong cast. Daniel Kaluuya leads the film with a quite exceptional performance as Chris Washington, impressing with each passing minute as the paranoia within his character grows. Expect to see much more of Kaluuya in the future.
Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are both devilishly charming and unnerving with their performances as Rose’s parents, who take an immediate interest in Chris’ life, both past and present. Get Out gets its truly unsettling performances from Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson as Georgina and Walter, hired by Dean’s father. They both have a stand-out scene where it becomes clear that all is not well with either them or the house they tend to. Lil Rel Howery deserves a mention too for being genuinely funny in the role of Chris’ best friend, Rod, who doesn’t just feel like the comedy relief shoehorned in for the sake of it.
Get Out brilliantly continues the resurgence of the horror genre and, as a directorial debut, has to go down as of the best I’ve seen from Jordan Peele. He’s already stated that this is the first of a number of horrors he has planned which will act as social commentaries and, if they continue to be as good as his debut, I cannot wait.
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