Much hype followed Jordan Peele’s secret screening of his directorial debut at this years Sundance Film Festival. As the movie gets deeper and deeper into its fresh and unique plot, it is clear Peele has a grip on something unique. He has crafted a far from preachy and pandering film about race. Get Out isn’t just about race, it is a unique horror movie. It isn’t a white power rally disguised as a movie like it’s trailers would convince you it is. Get Out is much smarter than that. It never indulges those stereotypes it would have you think it does.
The movie follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) as they travel to Rose’s parents for the weekend. Chris immediately is worried about racial tensions at the home will be awkward. He comes to find out he’s more than right. Rose’s dad (Bradley Whitford) right of the gate comes up with some uncomfortable dialogue. As the plot thickens, it becomes clear some shady things are happening at the Armitage estate.
Where Get Out could really cheap and manipulative, it never does. Kaluuya’s performance is assured and he never wants to believe he is being judged. In a sense, he is not. The folks at the party are just as odd and tone deaf as you could imagine. Chris even mentions to the house keeper that he is skittish around so many white people. Peele injects a ton of fun into this film with the offbeat style of humor he has become known for from Key and Peele. Much of the comedic relief is supplied by comedian Lil Rel Howery who plays Chris’s friend Rod.
Get Out handles it’s goofy and tension filled plot extremely well and even better when it transitions into it’s crazy conclusion. The film plunges into absurdity without ever encompassing any sense of the word. The performances in this film are incredible. Everyone in the Armitage family plays their roles perfectly including Caleb Landry Jones. Jones is the creepy and menacing brother of Rose, Jeremy.
The most interesting aspect of the conflict in this film is Chris’s desire to fit in, while at the same time wanting to set the white people surrounding straight. The film is intent on creating the experience of being the only black guy in a room of people who don’t understand your plight. It is a dynamic so often explored in Key and Peele‘s cutting edge humor and commentary on social issue.
Get Out subverts traditional stereo types of both the people involved and the genre it calls home. In a month where not many great films find their way to theaters, Get Out is a refreshing change of pace for the early year doldrums we sometimes find ourselves in at the cinema. I think it’s safe to say we should all look forward to what Mr. Peele will do next. This movie is certainly a step in the right direction for the comedian turned director. Get Out is a film that is hard to find any issues with. It isn’t perfect, but it is a movie that has a broad appeal to audiences who are looking for a fun and interesting movie with something timely to say.