Jordan Peele’s directorial debut impresses with its twisted take on horror for mainstream audiences.
Is it worth $10? Yes
The terrific Daniel Kaluuya plays a handsome, successful, young Black man in comedian-turned-filmmaker Jordan Peele’s (“Key & Peele” [2012-2015]) haunting directorial debut. In “Get Out,” Kaluuya’s Chris Washington is happily committed to a beautiful woman named Rose (Allison Williams) and to their interracial relationship—she’s White.
The movie hits the ground running with a super-effective and memorable opening scene set to the tune of Flanagan & Allen’s “Run Rabbit Run.” The rest of the film takes us on an uncomfortable and frightening, though enjoyable, trip.
After several months of bliss, Chris and Rose decide it’s time to meet her family. The family consists of her mom Missy (Catherine Keener), her dad Dean (Bradley Whitford), and her younger brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones). The only foreseeable bump in the road is that Rose has neglected to tell them Chris’ race, and he’s nervous about how they’ll react to the “news.”
Once in the cozy, predominantly White suburbs of Rose’s childhood home, Chris begins to notice that the few African Americans he meets are acting a little strange. Could the neighborhood—and even Rose’s parents—have dark designs on him, or is he just becoming a little paranoid?
It comes as a pleasant surprise to see Peele’s talents extend beyond comedy, while not eschewing it completely here. He writes and directs this foray into mainstream horror and excels across the board. (It would have been a bonus had he taken an acting role as well.)
“Get Out,” intriguingly twisted and weird, plays like a modern mixture of “The Stepford Wives” (1975), “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” (1967), and even slightly resembles the recent horror film “A Cure For Wellness” (2017). On the whole, it’s a “puzzle movie,” and while the picture that’s revealed isn’t surprising, there is one element that is genuinely unexpected (and isn’t satisfactorily explained).
But, Peele perfectly blends comedy and horror into a well-balanced, entertaining, and fun experience. “Get Out” runs two hours and 10 minutes, but it moves at a quick clip and doesn’t feel like a two-hours-plus film. While unnecessarily overly tailored to Black audiences, especially in its controversial use of the “fear of White people” trope, there is still more than enough here for most moviegoers to enjoy. Continuing Jordan Peele’s streak of successes, this satisfyingly freaky film leaves us wondering what this talented individual will pull out of his sleeve next.
D.R. Huffman covers new fare with an emphasis on horror and thrillers for Punch Drunk Movies. “The DR is in.”