If you’ve ever seen an episode of Key & Peele, then you should already recognize that both Jordan Peele and his frequent collaborator Keegan-Michael Key are huge horror fans, as they regularly paid homage to many of the modern horror tropes we’ve all grown up loving. For his directorial debut, Get Out, Peele takes on one of the more relevant topics plaguing our society today—racism—and infuses his horrific tale with his signature satirical wit for an experience that’s fearlessly bold, hilarious, and an important reminder that we still have so much work left to do as human beings when it comes to issues of equality.
Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer from the city who travels with his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), to her family’s country estate to meet her parents, Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener), and spend a weekend away from it all. Chris is initially apprehensive about the meeting since he’s black and his girlfriend is white, but when he arrives, Chris is immediately welcomed into their home, as Rose’s affluent parents seem to genuinely be interested in connecting with their daughter’s new beau.
While things initially seem to be going well, there’s something a bit off about the workers at the Armitage estate, as Chris observes both the maid Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson) exhibiting some rather odd behaviors that just don’t make much sense. Feeling a bit out of place, Chris’ weekend takes an even weirder turn when the Armitages host a fancy backyard get-together with their equally posh friends, and he approaches a fellow “brother” in attendance (Lakeith Stanfield) in hopes of connecting with someone else who may understand his discomfort amidst the Stepfordian party guests.
What Chris gets instead is an ominous warning: “get out.” He begins to realize there’s something truly disturbing going on with Rose’s family and friends, even if he can’t quite put his finger on it just yet. That’s when Get Out makes a decisive turn from blistering, darkly comedic territory into a wondrously twisted and unsettling exercise in horror, and the way Peele deftly weaves both tones together throughout Get Out is downright masterful to watch.
From the very first scene to its very last moments, there’s no denying that Peele has a powerful message on his mind with Get Out, and it’s his willingness to brazenly confront how people of color are still treated in our country that makes the film not only thought-provoking, but hugely important as well, especially considering how our political landscape is shaping up post-Obama. It’s time for a wake-up call, and Peele defiantly delivers one here with Get Out, making his provocative story a truly watershed moment for both the genre and cinema as a whole.
There are a lot of elements to Get Out that I wish I could discuss here, but because I went into the film knowing very little about it myself (I had even refused to watch the trailer because I wanted to know absolutely nothing going into it), I want to try and preserve that feeling for you guys, too. Suffice it to say that Peele has created his own horror-fied version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner that fearlessly goes for broke in a third act that ratchets up the insanity of Chris’ predicament. There are some who may be uncomfortable about the message of Get Out, but that’s the point, and I’m grateful that Peele has courageously tackled the issues of prejudice and class elitism here, because we need more films like this being made, especially at the studio level (which doesn’t typically happen).
Also, I must tip my hat to LilRel Howery’s performance in Get Out as a TSA Agent and Chris’ best pal, who nearly steals every single scene he appears in. He’s insanely funny and adds so much personality to the overall film, that I would absolutely be game to watch a movie just about his character alone.
Movie Score: 4.5/5