Movie Review: ‘Get Out’
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
Plot: Chris is on his way to meet his girlfriend’s family for the first time, and he’s nervous about how they’ll respond to their daughter dating a black man. Upon arriving at the wealthy family’s home Chris encounters strange behaviour from the black housekeepers and the older white friends of the family.
Review: Hey, we got to see Get Out! This indie horror gem wasn’t scheduled for release in Australian cinemas at all – perhaps the studio was concerned about a horror movie where the monster is ‘white folk’. Since it’s breaking box office records, including the biggest debut by an original script and the first black director to debut a film at $100million, they have very quickly rushed it down here for wide theatrical release.
So for those who don’t yet know, Jordan Peel has diverted from his comedic work to create this horror/thriller centred around racism. Chris (Kaluuya) travels to his visit the wealthy white family of his girlfriend and is greeted with a clan of folk who might be trying a little to hard to make him feel welcome. The brilliance of these sequences is how honest they come across, that sense of awkward hyper-awareness that occurs when people are out of their normal social circles but really, really want everyone to know that they’re OK with it. The film squeezes quite a few quiet laughs from these interactions simply for how awkward they are. Scenes were Chris is trying to speak to other black characters such as the housekeepers are even more awkward but from a very disconcerting place. The stuck smiles while their eyes cry for help is a strong image in the built up to the big reveal.
The big success of this film is the tight script. It’s well paced, it gives time to all the key players and does not play it’s hand to early. We don’t get the whole picture until the end, so there’s always something that doesn’t fit. There’s also very little that doesn’t come back at some point, even throwaway lines like a joke about being chased off the front porch with a shotgun coming to fruition. There’s some very sly gags in the movie, such as Chris getting himself out of a situation by literally picking cotton.
Backing up the script is the admirable cast. Daniel Kaluuya doesn’t have a big film resume (best known to us for an episode of Black Mirror) but he more than carries the film. We also wonder if there’s a term for an African-American character being given to a British actor…tea-washing, perhaps? Catherine Keener is definitely an actor who doesn’t get enough work, and she’s on menacing form her. Between this and Cabin in the Woods Bradley Whitford is the patron saint of excellent horror movies their studios didn’t have faith in.
As with this mornings review of Bad Girls, to say anything else would be a disservice to those yet to see it. So go and see it. It’s brilliant.
Rating: NINE out of TEN.