Get Out And See Get Out
Review by Aaron Haughton
Jordan Peele (of Comedy Central's Key & Peele) delivers a rollercoaster directorial debut with Get Out, a gripping social thriller centered around the hot button issue of racism. More pointedly, as Peele himself put it: 'this monster of racism lurking underneath some of these seemingly innocent conversations and situations.'
With police discrimination against people of color being at an all time high, Peele's social commentary couldn't be more relevant, and he weaves his tale of social unjust snuggly within some of cinema's most iconic works from the late 60s to mid-70s. The setup, for instance, nods to Stanley Kramer's 1967 independent classic, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner.
The story centers around Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya), a young black man on his way to visit his white girlfriend's wealthy family for the very first time. Like Guess Who's Coming, the white parents (played by Katherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) in Get Out have no idea that Chris is black.
Peele, however, doesn't use this as a tiresome crux for the duration of the film. Instead, he quickly veers the viewer into some nuanced Stepford Wives (1975) weirdness as they encounter the help (all of whom are people of color) at the secluded family estate.
It doesn't take long before Chris realizes something is off. Every person of color (with the exception of one lone racist asian) he encounters at the estate seems to have fallen out of touch with their ethnic roots; their overall demeanor being utterly whitewashed.
While Stepford motifs operate on the surface, the film's underlying tension and driving force can be attributed to Polanski's slow-burning horror classic, Rosemary's Baby. Peele's not impregnating black men with demon babies here, but something much more medically twisted.
But, things aren't always so heavy and demented either. Peele expertly sprinkles in comedic relief (which you can expect to be top notch given his background) throughout this whole ordeal via Chris' friend Rod, a wise-cracking TSA agent who we encounter primarily through phone conversations.
Where Peele truly excels as a director is with his knack for extremity. In many ways, he beats us to our own expectation by simply going further than we expect him to, quicker than we expect him to.
On the whole, the elements Peele borrows to craft his social commentary horror/thriller are anything but derivative. It's a wild ride that will entertain just as much as make you sit back and think. It's not just a great film; it's a goddamned beautiful piece of contemporary social Art.
Rating: 4 awkward fist bumps outta 5.