Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Movie Review #574: "Get Out" (2017)

Movie"Get Out"
Director: Jordan Peele
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes
Image Source
A college-aged black man goes with his white girlfriend to visit her parents in the suburbs. Once there, he notices very strange things happening and starts to feel uneasy.

"Get Out" is written and directed by Jordan Peele, who is best known as half of the comedy duo Key and Peele. This film is his directorial debut, so as a comedian, what better genre could there be than horror to make a socially relevant terror film with satirical undertones. It stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, who is an African American photographer who is about to meet the parents of his white girlfriend Rose, played by Allison Williams, for the first time. Chris is nervous because they don't know he's black and Rose thinks he is being silly because she thinks it doesn't matter and won't matter to her liberal-minded parents who "would have voted for Obama a third time if they could." Her parents Missy and Dean Armitage are played by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford. Missy is a psychiatrist and Dean is a neurosurgeon. Also in the film are Caleb Landry Jones, who plays Roses' brother Jeremy, Marcus Henderson, who plays Walter the groundskeeper, Betty Gabriel, who plays Georgina the maid, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root, and LilRel Howery. 

"Get Out" is a smart, funny, tension-filled horror/thriller. Jordan Peele dives head-first into socially relevant topics and handles them in a brilliant and provocative but subtle, powerful way. The characters of Dean and Missy are wealthy liberal suburbanites, but despite this fact, they still manage to engage in passive racism when they meet Chris. They suddenly start dropping slang words in an effort to try and relate, and continually bring up the issue of race, making it a focal of the discussions they often have in group settings. These moments are awkwardly funny, and as we laughed a lot throughout this film, part of us wondered if that's what Peele wanted, that he wanted the audience to look inward and check out their own passively racist nature, even if they didn't mean to be doing so.

Much of the comedy comes from LilRel Howery, who plays Chris's best friend Rod, who works for the TSA, a fact used as a running joke throughout the film with great success. Howery is cast perfectly here and lightens an otherwise panicked, frenzied fright-fest. Even with all of this humor going on, "Get Out" still manages to create massive amounts of tension and to be unsettling until the very end. There are many moments, including the entire third act up until the last second of the film, where we found ourselves on the edge of our seats watching what was going on as it all unfolded. Daniel Kaluuya puts on magnificent performance and conveys so much emotion and nuance through just his eyes and his facial expressions as he has to balance perceptions with his paranoia. Catherine Keener is also another standout here and she manages to be extremely scary with a very commanding presence. Bradley Whitford and Allison Williams are excellent as well as we never quite know their intentions and the meanings behind everything they say and do. 

"Get Out" begins with a certain level of unease and never dips below it. It only gets more intense as the moments click slowly by in a creepy and horrific fashion. It remains engaging through all the twists and turns, and though we may know where it is going in some small way, the journey getting there is still fun and terrifying. This is one of the first truly great films of 2017 and is an early contender for the best of the best of the year. Jordan Peele, PLEASE MAKE MORE MOVIES!


My Rating: 9.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 99%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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