Directed By: Jordan Peele
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
Some films have to sit with me for a while after my first viewing of them for me to fully work through and process exactly what my thoughts are and how I feel about them beyond that initial, basic reaction one has when coming out of theater once it's over. This weekend, I had to do just that for Jordan Peele's horror/comedy Get Out, a film I had a blast seeing Thursday night after looking forward to it for quite some time but one that I wanted to hold off writing anything about so that it had time to really sink in.
Get Out is the story of a young photographer named Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) who accompanies his girlfriend Rose (played by Allison Williams) on a trip to meet her parents (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) at their rural estate. Initially concerned about the fact that Rose hasn't informed her parents that he's black, Chris sets his worries aside and heads out with an open mind, and though Rose's parents are slightly awkward, they welcome him with open arms into their home. Of course, not everything is as it seems, and the more time Chris spends around Rose's family, the more obvious it is that something is wrong: From the family's robot-like maid and groundskeeper to an odd friend of the family, Chris notices that every African-American in the vicinity seems to be under some kind of trance, and as the weirdness only continues to escalate as part of a larger mystery, it may just be too late for Chris to escape from what he's been caught up in.
On paper, Get Out seems like quite the departure for Peele, who I liked back in his MadTV days and various other things he's popped up in over the years but really came to appreciate for his work on Key & Peele and his few episodes in the first season of Fargo. Up until now, Peele has really been known for his comedic efforts, but as anyone who's seen even just Key & Peele can testify to, all kinds of film genres beyond comedy have inspired and informed his work over the years. Get Out proves beyond a doubt that Peele knows his stuff when it comes to horror - after all, he also wrote the film - and the fact that it's such a solid piece of work despite being his directorial debut only serves to hammer that fact in.
When it comes to films like this that rely on all kinds of narrative twists and turns to power their fundamental narrative, I'm a firm believer in the idea that the less one knows about it going in, the better, and Get Out is no exception. And while I won’t spoil the specifics of the story, if there's any true fault about the film, it's that there is some predictability in terms of how it plays out, particularly during the final act; we've seen some of these beats play out in other thriller/horror films before and will continue to until the end of time. But what separates Get Out from the generic works we seem to get every few months is the overall package Peele delivers it in. Though this is a horror movie that wears its inspirations on its sleeves - echoes of films like The Stepford Wives or The Wicker Man unmistakably reverberate throughout, for instance - Peele still manages to bring his comedic sensibilities to the table, imbuing the film with actual personality and character that so many of these types of films fail to deliver.
Hello, dear readers! (Those of you who have stuck around in my absence.)
The site will be swinging back into gear here over the next few weeks, with various aesthetic changes being implemented along the way. It should also be noted that my In Defense Of feature will now be housed at We Got This Covered, where I've already had several features published.
I apologize for the lack of updates, reviews, and so on since December, but with so many (hopefully) great movies on the way here in 2017 and so many movies worth defending still, things should be getting back to normal.
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