Review: Get Out
In the realm of pure psychological horror, Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a funhouse that has to be seen to be believed. No matter how you may feel about it about it, one thing’s certain: you’ll walk out of the theater never knowing what hit you.
Photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is in a state of pure bliss. He’s dated Rose Armitage (Alison Williams) for the last five months and he believes he’s falling in love with her. Now she is taking him to meet her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) in upstate New York. Anomalies start happening right away: they hit a deer on the way there; when they arrive, Rose’s mother manages to hypnotize Chris; and the guests that come for an annual get-together seem to be hiding something.
Chris wants to believe that he is simply paranoid, but something is sitting uncomfortably in the pit of his stomach. At one point, he thinks he may have found a method to the madness, as the only other black man at the gathering attacks him after the flash of his phone camera goes off. Rose’s father tries to play it off as a seizure, but Chris knows something is up. After he sends the photo to his best friend Rod, a TSA officer (Lil Rel Howery), a fact comes to light that puts Chris in a position he wasn’t anticipating.
What happens next is best to be discovered for yourself. The less you know going in, the better Get Out will play. Peele has made a movie that would’ve made writers like Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby) and David Seltzer (The Omen) proud. The tension slowly builds, as paranoia and comedy go hand in hand. Peele pulls out all the stops in terms of keeping us on our toes. Once the intentions get revealed, the second half turns into a crazy assault for the senses. Everything slowly set up in the first half gives way to the craziness that consumes the second. By then, you’ll be shocked yet willing to go along with whatever is presented.
Get Out shows that the horror genre can still take us to places worth going. There are so many bad films from the genre every year that when one thinks outside the box it’s cause for celebration. In addition to the fabulous story, Get Out‘s performances are all spot-on. Howery makes the comic relief seem effortless, Whitford and Keener take crazy to a whole new level as the parents, and Williams makes Rose a strong central character even as the film hits its totally unhinged second half. It’s hard to talk about it without giving away certain details, but there is a real elation of satisfaction here, and some hysterical moments that punctuate the insanity, like an ironic use of an iconic song. Through it all, Kaluuya manages to make us believe this is all happening with a stellar performance that’s fully fleshed out and relatable.
Get Out won’t be for everyone, but it ranks up there with The Cabin in the Woods as one of the decade’s finest horror achievements. Jordan Peele deserves all the kudos for it; by making perhaps the best psychological horror movie in recent memory, Peele proves he has real talent as a director and storyteller. It’s a bumpy thrill ride you will not soon forget.