By Christian DiMartino
As I sit here typing this review for Jordan Peele’s Get Out, I can kind of imagine what some of the readers might say:
“Jordan Peele? 4 stars?”
“4 stars? Is that a typo?”
“Get Out? Christian gave THAT movie 4 stars?”
And you know, generally, a movie like Get Out is not something I typically hand my prestigious 4 star rating out to, and truth be told, I myself am at war with myself on whether or not it really is worthy of a 4 star rating.
But yet… looking back on the experience, what actual complaints can I make about Get Out? There might be a few things I could nitpick, but nothing remotely major. Really, when it all comes down to it, Get Out is the kind of film made for a Friday night. You go, you see it with friends, you talk about it afterwards, and then you spread the word. Truth be told, I kind of already want to see it again, with different people, to see how they take it.
But first off, yes Get Out is directed by THEE Jordan Peele of Key & Peele, and seeing the trailers I thought Peele might have a trick up his sleeve. In some ways, he does. But really, what you see in Get Out is pretty much what you get, and then some.
I laughed quite a bit in Get Out, as one would generally expect. But what you might not expect is the way the laugher arrives. In some cases, it’s comedic relief. In other cases it was due to awkwardness. In most though, I was laughing because of how creepy it was. I was creeped, yes, and the pure madness of it all is rather funny. Peele knows his balance and tone, and he nails it beautifully.
The film feels like the spawn of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives, and if that sounds jarring to you, that’s probably because it is. Yet while elements may seem familiar, Peele has crafted his own little clever contraption.
The film follows a couple, Chris and Rose (Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams, both sporting strong chemistry). They’re about to set off to meet her parents when he discovers that she failed to tell them that he’s a black man. He sees this as a red flag, but she insists it’ll all work out. We’re not so convinced.
Within minutes of arriving at the Armitage estate, we sense something is afoot. There’s a black groundskeeper and a black maid, who seems like she came straight out of The Help. The Armitages (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) seem pleasant, but awkwardly so, insisting that they would’ve voted for Obama for a third term, talking about the Aryan race, all that stuff. We also meet the groundskeeper and maid further, and they also seem nice, but in a robotic way.
You’ll realize early on just why this movie is named Get Out. You’ll want to get the hell out of there for him.
Among other weird things, Mrs. Armitage has a gift with hypnosis, and following what may have been a dream (or was it reality?) things just get weirder and weirder. Chris knows something is up here. I mean damn, anyone with eyes could. A horror movie with a protagonist with common sense? What year is it?
What is actually up though? Eh, I’ll let you find out on your own.
Everything in Get Out has meaning. It’s clear that Peele has taken time to think this story through, and man, what thought. Get Out serves not only as a satire and a horror film, but also as a commentary.
Every performance here is great, from Kaluuya and co. and really everyone involved. The real scene stealer here is LilRel Howery, who plays Chris’ TSA friend. Far too often, a role like this can be cliche. But Howery plays this thing to deadpan perfection.
The jump scares are earned. The score is dead on. Once you get involved in Peele’s labyrinth, not only will you not want to “get out,” but you’ll also be left asking “what’s next?” And if the last half hour is the most riveting, satisfying thing I’ve witnessed in a long while…
The film is currently sat at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. A rare achievement, yes, but it’s deserved. How baffling is it that in the month of February, not only do we have one really good movie, but we have three? The Lego Batman Movie and John Wick: Chapter 2 are both hugely enjoyable. But Get Out takes the cake.
And now that I’ve seen what Peele is capable of, not only in terms of writing and acting but now directing as well, I can say with ease that I look forward to whatever he has cooked up next.