From the very first scene I knew Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” was going to be something special.
As a long time consumer of horror films, I consider myself very difficult to scare and can recognize most of the tricks at this point. So believe me when I tell you “Get Out” elicited some of the most visceral reactions I’ve ever had while watching a horror film.
The protagonist in “Get Out” is Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, a black man who is dating a white woman, who has recently been asked to visit her childhood home and meet her parents.
Upon their arrival he is immediately put into one awkward and uncomfortable situation after another. This is not helped by the fact that the parents have a black groundskeeper and maid—both of which seeming far too compliant in their roles.
The tension gets even worse when Chris begins to realize something sinister is going down in the house and that it may be too late to, as the title says, to get out.
The most ingenious thing about this film is how it is able to balance comedy and tension so well. Peele’s years of writing sketch comedy have served him well. When this film wants to make the audience squirm it can, but it can make them laugh.
The handling of tension is masterful. From the minute they arrive at the house, the audience suspects something is up and are taken along for this ordeal along with Chris.
From close-ups to bizarre music choices, such as “Run Rabbit Run,” the film feels like an ode to some of cinema’s best social thrillers and horror films of the past.
“Get Out” keeps the viewer guessing up until the third act where things go completely insane. Peele understands how to rack up tension and make the viewer feel what the main character is feeling, which in Chris’ case is fear and confusion.
The film also does a great job in handling recent cultural topics including white privilege and police culture—using them in extremely compelling ways.
Ultimately the film can be dissected for dozens of great themes, ideas and hidden amongst the plot, making the experience all the more gratifying. This is certainly a film where it helps to pay attention.
Every actor in this film is on point. From Kaluuya’s ability to convey so many emotions from fear to sadness to just pure intensity, to his girlfriend Rose, portrayed by Allison Williams and her ability to handle several different emotions and levels of intensity throughout the film, there is no weak link among the bunch.
Not to be forgotten are her parents portrayed by Catherine Kenner and Bradley Whitford who succeed at being both uncomfortably awkward and insanely terrifying.
But by far, the most mem- orable character in the film is Chris’ friend Rod, portrayed by LilRel Howery, a TSA agent who is openly concerned for his friends safety and is helping him put the pieces together as the story progresses.
Every line out of Rod’s mouth is comedic gold and he serves as the audience’s surro- gate throughout the film, say- ing all the things the viewer wants to.
The film is a lock for one of the year’s best films and I if you are looking for a good horror film that tackles social issues in a thoughtful and mas- terfully crafted way you will certainly enjoy “Get Out.”