Jordan Peele (more known for his comedic work with Comedy Central and MADtv) makes his directorial debut with the satirical horror Get Out. Get Out is Scream meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with a bit of The Stepford Wives thrown in for good measure. Starring Daniel Kaluuya as Chris and Allison Williams as Rose, the film is about an African-American man who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s family and discovers something sinister afoot.
True, horror movies have incorporated themes about racism and discrimination for decades. But Get Out derives its terror from the day-to-day experiences of African Americans navigating their way through majority white spaces. It makes for awkward viewing at times, but undoubtedly resonates with ethnic minority audiences. However, the awkwardness of microaggressions and cultural misunderstandings gives way to a superbly ominous atmosphere that manages to be genuinely disturbing at times. The allusion and homage to older horror movies crafts a creepy narrative, but which avoids being overburdened with its own self-awareness. Get Out is a terrific social satire, but is also a credible horror, with several well-chosen gory moments underscored by an effectively eerie score.
There’s great care taken with the script and directing. The screenwriting is crisp and thoughtful without being excessively preachy, and presents a thrilling original story. Each line of dialogue is precise and adds to the unsettling tone of the film. Peele has directed a feature that probably demands to be seen a few more times, just to digest each hidden Easter egg. And it’s expected that the thematic elements in Get Out will most likely further contribute to the discussion about race and the arts in America.
Kaluuya and Williams give superb and nuanced performances, supported by Bradley Whitford who gives a believable portrayal of Rose’s father Dean, a cringeworthy and overenthusiastic liberal. Catherine Keener and Caleb Landry Jones are also fantastic. Peele’s comedic background comes through without detracting from the horror of the film; Get Out is filled with hilarious moments provided either by Chris’s reaction to the quirkiness of his girlfriend’s family, or through Lil Rel Howery’s portrayal of Rod, an enthusiastic TSA agent.
Get Out is one of the strongest and most ambitious horrors released in recent memory. It’s a terrifically acted, atmospheric satirical take on modern American racial dynamics and an outstanding directorial debut from Jordan Peele.
Get Out is released nationwide on Friday 17th March 2017.
Watch the trailer for Get Out here: