Jordan Peele's "Get Out" is a breath of fresh air in the horror movie world as of late. If you haven't seen any of the ads, "Get Out" is the story of a couple who take a weekend trip to the girlfriend's parents' house. The boyfriend, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), is on edge because he doesn't know how they'll react to the fact that he's black. But Rose (Allison Williams), assures him her mom and dad are very dorky, but open people. Once they get there, though, everyone seems to be acting very strange: especially the black man and woman who work for Rose's neuroscientist father, played (Bradley Whitford) and psychiatrist mother (Catherine Keener). The tension begins to rise as Chris begins to feel that he's in some sort of danger, but it may be too late to escape from the eerily pleasant neighborhood.
"Get Out" doesn't try too hard with endless jump scares and gore: the true horror lies in what's happening to Chris, and the physical and mental struggles that he faces. The tone wavered a little bit, but for the most part it was a thriller with slight satirical comedy: a horror movie that pokes fun at itself. There's also no denying the social issue also being portrayed: a sort of exoticism-inspired view of people of color, and the way that we commonly manipulate others for our own sense of well-being. In the case of "Get Out," the rich used people as pawns.
Another aspect that I thought was genius, was the role of Chris's best friend, Rod, played by LilRel Howery. Rod basically functions as the voice of reason to the usually unaware cast of a horror movie. He points out all of the ominous things occurring in Chris's stay at the secluded house, and is never afraid to call out the bull-crap that everyone in the audience is already yelling at the screen. Rod knows right away when something is up, and he'll stop at nothing to help Chris. That's a good friend, y'all. This almost satirical theme of calling-out-horror-movie-tropes even extended to Chris. At one point, when the maid had said something especially creepy to him, he whispered under his breath, "This b*tch is crazy!" We were all thinking it, but it just puts the cherry on top of the whip cream when a movie gets their cast to say it.
On top of a wonderful thriller-to-comedy ratio, "Get Out" flaunts a pretty star-studded cast. You may know Allison Williams from the HBO show, "Girls," where she co-stars with Lena Dunham. Keener is a silver screen vet, starring in movies like "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" and "Captain Phillips," and so is Whitford, who was in "The Cabin in the Woods" and "Saving Mr. Banks." There was also a surprise guest appearance by Stephen Root as one of the chillingly cordial wealthy white folk. He's been in films such as "Selma" and even does a voiceover role in "Finding Nemo" and "Finding Dory" as Bubbles, the fish. Not to mention the numerous television shows he's been on.
"Get Out" needed to decide what sort of reality it was in: in some parts, it was very real-world; it was a horror movie in which the people were the monsters. In other parts of the film, there were some sci-fi themes dealing with hypnosis and consciousness that didn't seem cohesive. I will say, however, some of those parts were the most beautiful in terms of cinematography.
The humor in "Get Out" might, in part, come from the director, Jordan Peele, whose worked on projects such as "Bob's Burgers" and "Rick and Morty." By the way, if you don't watch either of those shows, you are truly missing out. They are hilarious and for people of any age. I think this was an interesting direction for him to go, and seems to be his first horror film. I think it's safe to say that it was a success, and I can't recommend this movie enough.
Watch the trailer below:
Reach Staff Reporter Amanda Suarez here.