Sept. 23, 2017
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'Get Out' Review: Shattered Expectations

Jordan Peele conquers the horror world

February 28, 2017, 12:00 am

Much of the draw of Get Out is in seeing its writer/director Jordan Peele (of legendary comedy duo Key and Peele) strike out of the genre for which he’s known. But the film proves to be far more than a simple foray into uncharted territory from a talented comic mind, and instead becomes one of the most original and well-executed horror films in generations.

A young photographer named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is set to visit his girlfriend’s parents for the weekend. “Do ... they know I’m black?” he asks her nervously beforehand, and we honestly believe Rose (Girls’ Allison Williams) when she answers, “They are not racist.” And at first this seems to be all well and good, though Allison’s doctor-father Dean (a brilliantly disarming Bradley Whitford) and therapist-mother Missy (a wildly discomforting Catherine Keener) seem a bit off, they still appear to at least be trying in that I-swear-I’m-totally-not-racist kind of way.

But something is just not right at the Armitage house. It could be Rose’s obviously sociopathic brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), a far-too-chipper maid (Betty Gabriel) who stands silently smiling at all times or the ominous and terrifying groundskeeper (Marcus Henderson) who speaks like he just so totally has something to hide. Regardless, it’s creepy as hell up in there, but Chris seems to be the only one who can feel it.

Get Out shines in its metered examination of tokenism, conditioned racism and even our societal expectations. Peele neatly pulls this off without ever resorting to overt explanations, however, instead allowing the actions of its characters to slowly unfold the goings-on at Rose’s spooky family home. He trusts his audience will be patient, which is a sadly lacking quality of modern filmmaking. By the time all is revealed, we share in Chris’ realization that it may be too late, but we savor the slow burn right up to the shocking truth.

9

+ Smart and scary; defies expectation

- Wraps up a little quickly

Get Out
Directed by Peele
With Kaluuya, Williams, Whitford and Keener
Regal,
R,
103 min.


 

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