Approaching a movie like “Get Out” might not excite people from the get go. The trailers were admittedly a bit underwhelming and made the premise seem obvious. A white girl with a black boyfriend go to visit awkwardly white parents, tense moments ensue, right? Well, not exactly. “Get Out” is actually much smarter of a movie than what a first glance might say.
From the opening scene, it’s clear that director Jordan Peele’s directing has an effective way of relaying suspense. With deft camera work and chilling music coupled together, many of the scenes throughout the film work seamlessly. This is, of course, aided by the stellar performances from everyone in the cast. Daniel Kaluuya does wonders in his lead role and truly portrays the tense and uncomfortable nature of being racially outnumbered as a black person. It’s the truth in his body language the way his character dealt with the stress in every situation that made this movie work so well.
The Armitage family also aided in this endeavor, bringing an upsetting amount of passive racism to every encounter. Whether it be by subtling asking Chris what his favorite sport was (and eventually coming to basketball), or forcing their ‘non-racist’ ideals by boasting about their love for President Obama, the unfortunate truth of their speech was extremely real and sad.
This all escalates when the family party begins and the strange underlying nature of the family begins to show. Peele does an excellent job with unsettling imagery and made the most out of every shot, even if the generic jump scares tropes did come every so often. Even so, the general confusion of what mystery surrounds this family is intriguing enough to keep the plot fresh throughout the entire runtime.
A few running themes within the film caught my attention and I felt they warranted discussion. Firstly, the direction of gazes was incredible. In fact, the filming of eyes in general was something that kept coming back time and time again. The way Peele focused on the eyes, through tears, laughter or fear, captured a feeling that is rarely felt in modern movies. While the body language of the characters was also important, the eyes always dominated the scene.
Another great aspect of the film is the riddling of clues and foreshadowing that happens throughout. Without spoiling any plot points, there are many scenes that focus on seemingly meaningless or off beat subjects that, once the veil has been lifted, make complete sense in a greater context. It gives the audience something to come back to and think about once the credits have rolled. It may not necessarily demand a second viewing, but giving us these small clues to reflect on afterwards is always fun.
The film does have some faults, though few. The plot reveal in the final third (I won’t spoil, but I’ll just say ‘red box’) was a bit forced. It’s clear that there were few other ways this reveal could have been done, but regardless, it felt forced. And of course, what many people will argue about, the ending. It was certainly a well built conclusion and had a nice feeling of climax, but I wish Peele would have gone the harder route. It felt too easy, while everything else in the film was so hard for Chris. However, as I said, this point is up for debate and I am certainly not married to this quite yet.
Overall, “Get Out” surprised me and left me quite pleased. The relevance to the social themes throughout the film rang true, while also delivering a solid thriller that had a distinct personality. This is a wonderful launching point for Peele’s directorial career and paints him as one of Hollywood’s best up-and-coming eyes. This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and well worth any horror/thriller fan’s time.