““I would have voted for Obama a third time, if I could”
If only one sentence could sum up ‘Get Out’ it would be – ‘Stepford Wives’ (the 1975 version, not the awful 2004 remake) meets ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’ but more thrilling with added horror and with barrells of laugh-out-loud comedy. With a savagely scathing script, director & writer Jordan Peele has made what is both a superb critique on social attitudes but also, first and foremost, a really great movie.
From the film’s prologue – which utilizes ‘Run Rabbit Run’ to chilling effect- there’s a prevailing sense of unease throughout, a prickling fear of knowing that something bad is going to happen whilst being completely uncertain as to what that bad thing might actually be. The tension levels build and build to almost nauseating levels as we desperately will for main character Chris (an excellent Daniel Kaluuya) to get the hell out of there.
‘There’ being the family estate in middle of the superbs that belongs to his caucasian girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), and her liberal family. It’s the presentation of their attitudes that is the film at its most cutting. From her father’s heartfelt admission quoted above, to her mother’s probing questions about his background and her brother’s comments on eugenics – it is more than clear to us, and to Chris, that something is really not right here. The ‘problem’ for Chris (not for us!) is that he can’t quite work out what exactly is going on and what the endgame is. That’s good news for us as things don’t necessarily play out in an expected manner, things are not obvious, predictable or glaringly obvious. The casting here really allows the script to shine in this aspect – these are all good actors and people whose names you may not recognise, but whose faces you will. The recognition factor is used to make their characters all the more appealing yet repulsive.
It’s not all bleak though. The film succeeds so greatly as a satirical piece because it is also immense fun. These moments of genuinely chilling tension are punctuated with truly hilarious comedy in the form of Chris’s best friend TSA agent Rod (LilRel Howery). The film is immensely well crafted as to when it includes these moments of genuine comedy – the entire audience that attended the screening were in stitches.
‘Get Out’ is an entertaining thriller that will have you thinking even as you’re laughing or wincing. This is a jam-packed directorial debut by a man with great talent. Conventions are subverted to great effect; you’ll be left thinking about the film and the questions it raises for days afterwards.
‘Get Out’ opened in UK cinemas on 17th March.
Year: 2017 Runtime: 104 minutes Dir: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams , Catherine Keener , Bradley Whitford , Caleb Landry Jones , Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, LilRel Howery.