Get Out (2017)

8:03 AM

Just because you're invited, doesn't mean you're welcome.
This review contains Spoilers
 Get Out is the directorial debut from Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), who has also written the film. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya (Sicario, Johnny English Reborn), Allison Williams (Girls) and Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year, Good Girls Revolt). "A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate". Get Out is one of the most critically and commercially successful horrors in recent history - does it truly live up to the hype or is it overrated?

I had very high expectations for Get Out as soon as the reviews started coming in - it has 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and ranks as one of the top 250 on IMDb and many critics were calling it a new horror classic. This was originally surprising as I thought the trailers looked completely awful - not scary, silly and dumb. How wrong was I? Get Out is a very strong flick that I probably feel a little less positive towards than most critics but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I couldn't help but have some problems.

Let's begin with one of the strongest elements of the film - the acting. I don't think I have seen a horror/thriller that is this well acted across the board in a very long time. All of the leads are fantastic which is even better when you take into account how inexperienced some of them are. Daniel Kaluuya leads the pack with a terrific performance as our main protagonist, Chris. His eyes really do convey emotion and I think he does a truly brilliant job. Allison Williams is also very good - she basically plays two different characters as the twist ultimately reveals that she is not who we first thought. As Rose, the girlfriend - she is good, nothing too remarkable but she plays the role well. However, when she becomes Rose, the twisted and messed up family member - her performance becomes rather spectacular. One seem comes to mind in particular when Rose is on the phone to Rod (LilRel Howery) - the way Williams is able to convey such convincing emotion just through her voice is amazing - her face is intentionally wooden and unemotional but if you were to close your eyes, you would think her face would be telling a completely different story. Fantastic. Betty Gabriel is also very good - this role showcases just how diverse she is as an actress as she is unrecognisable from her performance in The Purge 3 - a completely different character and she plays her incredibly well. Those performances were my favourites but everyone pulled their weight and helped to make Get Out one of the all round well acted films of the year so far. 

The story for the film is the typical Meet the Parents but with a twist - there is so much social commentary but more on that later. Chris and Rose visit Rose's parents where Chris (and the audience) discover that the village is very white and lacks diversity and could resemble what society was like in the past - there has to be something bigger going on! There is. The film starts off on a very strong note with a powerful and effective jump scare and constant tension building up until meeting the parents - I was very excited for what was to come. The initial scenes at the parents house were pretty creepy but then all tension seemed to have dropped. There is also an interesting shot when Chris and Rose first meet the parents where the camera zooms out quite widely almost hinting that there is a much bigger picture of what is going on. Act 2 was incredibly weak (in comparison) and had me worrying that this film was going to be another It Follows situation - a widely acclaimed horror that I just couldn't see much good in. The pace of the second act is very slow but it didn't feel like a slow burn or that subtle hints were being dropped, it just felt slow and that the story was going nowhere. The film did eventually get back to being great in the final act - from the end of the party to the end of the film. This is where the mystery unfolds and we get to find out what is really going on - the bigger picture. I have to say, the film was clever in not really giving much away because it made the twist very effective and I bet if I was to rematch the film, there probably would be subtle hints that do hint at what is to come. Get Out becomes very tense, exciting, gruesome and discomforting in its third act - something that was hinted at in Act 1 but dropped in Act 2.

So, the twist. Get Out's twist was very good and unexpected - I definitely think it's one of the main reasons why the film has had such strong legs at the box office because it is one that people will want to talk about. Like I previously mentioned, the third act (revelation of the twist/truth) is what really makes this film much more exciting. What is basically really going on is Rose is luring in African American people to be sold to a group of people who deem their bodies desirable - they want to inhibit their bodies. The mother hypnotises each victim so they can be under her control at any time, the father carries out the surgery and the brother assists him. That is one twisted family! What's even more messed up is that Georgina and Walter are actually the Armitage grandparents - now there are major plot holes here but that is a completely different essay (for example, why would the grandparents, the people who came up with this idea, find it ok to become slaves to their children?). I just thought the twist was very unexpected and added a lot of excitement as it was so absurd and horrible to even think of - I believe the title 'Get Out' is actually referring to the characters wanting this family to 'Get Out' of their heads.

Is Get Out scary? I would say it is, yes - for different reasons than normal. There are a few effective jump scares which are all earned. However, what makes Get Out scarier is the psychological element - it is scary when you start thinking about this film in more depth, it's creepy! Even though Act 2 completely lacks any sort of tension, the rest of the film really is packed with it. I also think it's scary to think of a society like the one portrayed in Get Out. The film isn't as tense and as scary as I would have liked it to have been - it didn't really have a long lasting impression on me but when it did get scary, it truly got scary.

Get Out also makes some pretty intelligent social commentary - adding to the intelligence of the script as a whole. Get Out is a very original film with quite a lot on its mind and I really do appreciate films like that. The question is though, are the acts of the Armitage family intentionally racist? I believe racism does come into play because they believe that African American's are almost a completely different type of species - they look up to them and believe they are completely different to themselves (White Americans). What's odd though is I believe the characters honestly believe they are not being racist - but they kind of are - they don't have anything negative against African Americans but they are still basically making them slaves and dehumanising them. There is also some interesting commentary when Rose and Chris get pulled over by the police and the officer asks to see Chris' ID also despite him not being the driver - this type of thing does happen in the US which is ridiculous. Get Out has a lot on its mind and I think its main message is that sometimes racism is being taken to the other end of the scale - we believe stereotypes and assume all are the same whereas like any human being, every person has their own individual characteristics - one person may be extremely athletic whereas one may enjoy spending the day on the couch.

Get Out is a strong horror/thriller flick that makes some interesting and poignant social commentary that will help it to stand the test of time. The performances across the board are fantastic - I was especially impressed by Kaluuya, Williams and Gabriel. The film does drop the tension and majorly slows down the pace in Act 2 which is something I would have preferred it to have done differently - I like tension that slowly builds - there may have been some subtle tension building here but I just did not feel it. Get Out is well written, original and mostly thrilling. I kind of want to see it again to see if I can spot hints to that terrific twist. Get Out and see it!

78
/100

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