Get Out Review: The First True Horror Classic of 2017
Get Out is an absolutely brilliant and original horror film from famed comedian Jordan Peele. It straddles multiple genres. Get Out is scary, laugh out loud funny, and an inspired satire of interracial relationships. Imagine a devilishly twisted update of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Avoid all spoilers of this film. I'll just describe the general premise. Trust me when I tell you the payoff is both clever and intriguing, a whopper.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) has been dating Rose (Allison Williams) for five months. They've become a serious couple. She decides it's time to bring him home to meet her family. The catch is that Chris is black and Rose is white. Her family doesn't know she's in an interracial relationship. Chris agrees to meet her family (Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, and Caleb Landry Jones) at their remote lake house. The visit turns into something entirely unexpected.
Jordan Peele gets top marks for creativity. Get Out veers into truly uncharted cinematic territory. I have never seen a film with this premise. That's a hell of an achievement in its own right. Every horror film seems to have the same structure and plot. Zombies, vampires, ghosts, serial killers, we've seen the same damn thing repeatedly for as long as I can remember. Finally someone does something new in a tired and stale genre. I would never have thought Peele had this in him, but kudos for a tremendous idea and execution.
Race plays a huge part in this story. Peele, who is biracial, expertly characterizes the awkwardness of the moment. Even the most accepting of people subtly reacts to the unexpected. Your daughter bringing home a guy is a big step. Add race to the mix and you have an extra hurdle, no matter how liberal your values are. These scenes are funny and truthful. It's when the horror aspects kick in that you realize how different Get Out really is.
Get Out is genuinely creepy. Instead of cheesy music and grotesque torture porn, Peele relies on the unknown to draw you in. What is happening here? The plot builds like a slow boil to a terror explosion. Clues to the outcome are evident from the first second, but it takes the entire runtime to pull everything together. It's such a joy to be surprised by a horror outcome. I don't think I've seen a genre film this inventive since Cabin in the Woods. The resolve is truly satisfying.
My favorite aspect of Get Out is the intelligence of the characters. There's a lot to like, but beyond the deeper themes; the characters aren't morons. I cringe every time I watch a genre film and the characters don't behave logically. Chris and Rose are not fools. Something is amiss, enough to warrant wariness. Anyone in this situation would be unnerved as events play out. Credit again to Peele for writing characters that act rationally.
From Universal Pictures, Get Out is produced by Jason Blum, king of micro-budget horror cinema. He already has a massive hit with Split destroying the box office. I can only hope that audiences have a similar reaction here. Get Out needs to be seen. It's so different in a good way. Blum obviously has an eye for talent. I would have never associated Jordan Peele with horror. Lucky for us he was given the chance to make this film. Get Out is the high water mark for horror this year.