By Chris Campo
Usually, I like to start reviews with a story or some background on the film, but I am going to switch things up by saying: Go see Get Out! I do not know any other way to start this review, if I'm being perfectly honest. This film deserves your money and it deserves the high praise it has been receiving. I don't say this often, but believe the hype. 2016 was a phenomenal year for horror, yet with Split and especially Get Out, 2017 just may have already topped it. I'm just as shocked as you are.
Get Out follows a young black man, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), and his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), as they visit her parent's (Bradley Whitford & Catherine Keener) home deep in the woods. Chris is nervous and rightfully so, as Rose has never dated a black man and feels he might be treated differently. As they arrive, things start out awkward, but for the most part, harmless. As you may have already guessed, things don't remain as such, occurring through events and revelations I won't spoil. Try and see this movie without knowing too much of the plot, and definitely don't watch the trailer.
As soon as this film opened to Childish Gambino's "Redbone," I had a feeling I was going to be in for a special experience, and what an experience it was. For what it's trying to be and for what it goes for, this movie is perfect. It's funny, scary, relevant, and wildly crowd pleasing. This is a new horror classic, also featuring a new classic, chilling horror score. The music is phenomenal. First-time writer/director Jordan Peele is so confident and bold and it truly pays off. Peele may be known mostly for comedy, but here, he's hit his stride. Trust me, Get Out will not be the last time we here Peele's name as a director.
Whenever a film's director nails it this well, I usually make the comment that the director was the "true star of the movie," and while Jordan Peele is simply phenomenal, saying that would be such a disservice to the actors and their incredible performances in this movie. Daniel Kaluuya is a star. His work is heartbreaking, not because some triumphant monologue or some other cliche, but because of his heartbreaking performance. You can feel his fear. He's uncomfortable throughout, his subtle and nuanced performance something that won't be soon forgotten. The parents are especially good, making you feel unsafe in the safest of situations, like for example, at a family dinner. Special shout out to Lakeith Stanfield and LilRel Howery aswell, who have limited screen time, but absolutely steal every scene they're in.
From the limited, effective jump scares, to the striking, at times haunting, imagery, to the wince-inducing gore, this film is scary. It may be produced in part by Jason Blum, but this is not your typical horror film. This film dives deep into your head and screws around with you. You may not leave the theatre with all your questions answered, and that's because the film wants to stay under your skin. I've never seen scares quite like the ones on display here. Some are subtle yet bold, and some are sudden and in your face. It's true psychological terror and it is frightening. The film even balances scares with laughs in a way that hasn't been done nearly as well since The Cabin in the Woods.
The film also has a unique way of telling it's equally unique story. Although it's linear and follows a basic three act structure, the film plays out as almost two different films, changing things up right before your eyes without being abrupt or a distraction. Once things are revealed, you go back and pick up the pieces that were left there from the very beginning, making the film-going experience quite enthralling, something that is severely lacking in most studio films. Also unlike most films, this film doesn't have just one trick up it sleeves. Once the big revelation occurs, it manages to keep up its momentum throughout the remainder of the film, up until the very end, and what an ending it is. This might just have my favourite movie ending in recent memory. I legitimately stood up and cheered.
A lot of talk about this film has been going around, calling the film to be racist. It's not, and to think that would be stupid. This film is not anti-white, nor does it alienate anyone from it's story. It's anti-racism, showing a black man in a position he is usually not in typical horror pictures. Part of the dread of the film comes from how rude characters can be and how it makes Chris feel. It's real world stuff and it's terrifying. It never beats you over the head with it's messages and its never on the nose. It's simply telling a story and being extremely relevant while doing so. Just another reason why this film needs to be seen.
Overall, Jordan Peele has crafted a film and an experience I am forever grateful for. It's funny, scary and engaged me more than most films do. This film is going to stay firmly planted in my best of the years list, I can guarantee that. There's one very nitpick-y continuity thing towards the end that keeps this from being a perfect movie, but that's not going to stop be from giving Get Out, a perfect score. I loved this film and had a smile on my face for the entire runtime, and beyond.
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