Get Uncomfortable. Get Scared. And Get Out

Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele (MadTV, Key & Peele, and Keanu) tells the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a charming, yet quiet, young photographer, going to meet the parents of his girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). It’s a fairly significant event for any young couple, if not an anxiety inducing one, and that fact absolutely applies to Chris as well. However, Chris’ anxiety with meeting Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford & Catherine Keener) doesn’t lie in just the typical “impress the in-laws” dilemma with most families. No, a larger portion of Chris’ anxiety deals with the issue with his own race. Being that he is a black man getting introduced to an upper-class white family, Chris’ concerns are well grounded in one of his first lines to Rose: “Do they know I’m black?” And from that initial, hard-hitting question, Get Out develops into a film that wonderfully subverts any and all expectations it seems to present while giving a glimpse into the horror and danger of racism, even at the microagressive level.

Now let me first say this. For people looking forward to Get Out as a straight horror film, plan for more laughs than you may anticipate. This movie is not an absolute horror film as the marketing may lead you to believe. No, in fact I can say that this is one of the funniest horror movies I’ve ever seen. But what’s so astonishing about that notion is that this is a movie that figured out how to expertly balance very real scares with very uncomfortable laughter. I had my doubts at first when the film introduced Chris’ friend, Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery) as the disconnected from the action, audience surrogate, comic relief character, but quickly I figured out the movie’s true intention. It’s all fun and games when when people are making jokes, but really the comedic bits tossed into this movie are there just to make the audience drop their guard. That way, when the Armitage family and their affluent, elderly white friends attempt to connect with Chris using a variety of terribly assertive and horribly misguided racially biased comments and questions, we are left with this unpleasant feeling in our collective gut. It’s the kind of combination that has the audience laughing just as much as it has them awkwardly coughing, and ultimately the film’s narrative is better off because of this. A lot of tension is built from the discomfort you feel whenever any of the characters make a racist comment. But when you couple those troubling statements with a wisecrack every so often, the audience is left questioning when or even if something bad is about to happen. That’s terrifying! Not knowing when a scare is going to happen in a horror film is the most paranoia inducing thing ever. However, this especially works for Get Out because by the end of the film we’ve been through the ringer. We’ve been scared dozens of times, we’ve watched Chris struggle with everything from casual racism to literally fighting to stay alive, and all we’re left looking for is some kind of payoff. Well without revealing too much, yes, Get Out does offer a well realized resolution that is sure to make it all seem worth it. But know that they’re gonna make you suffer first before you get there.

As for the technicalities of the film, I think it’s safe to say that Jordan Peele has a grasp on what makes a movie look and sound good. For example, the set design in this film is comprised in a way that features a lot of weirdly symmetrical, perfect furniture and decoration placement. And it’s that perfection of organization in the Armitage estate that creates this strong sense of unease as the whole family starts to seem more and more suspicious, like they’re almost trying too hard. Then on top of the off-putting set design there is some fantastic sound design as well. Sound design that ranges from creepy music matching certain characters’ bizarre actions to chilling sound effects that add a layer of unpleasantness to everything (especially considering that sound plays a fairly decent role in the film’s story). And then lastly, the camera work in Get Out is top notch. Peele really knows how to unsettle his audience, and I’m getting that from the fact that his film does not shy away from really tight close-ups made to suffocate us in this waking nightmare. Hell even his more action based sequences utilize quick camera motions to show the viciousness that can be brought up by a character on the brink. It all just looks, sounds, and by extension, feels really intense. And that’s amazing.

Ultimately, Get Out is a movie that gives us something new. Changing the way we can look at the horror genre and changing what we think constitutes as scary is no small feat for any movie. But with its excellent talent, Peele’s great grasp on direction, and the fantastic way the story is realized on the screen, I think it’s safe to say that Get Out meets that feat easily.

Folks, I have no complaints on this film. Brilliance at every corner. I have to give Get Out written and directed by Jordan Peele a…

10/10 – Masterpiece

Even now, a week after its release, I’m still thinking about it. Such a galvanizing film experience. I highly recommend that everyone go out and give this this movie the attention it deserves. But before you do, feel free to leave a comment about the movie, this review, or whatever else below. And if you’re looking for more reviews by TAWTICS then be sure to head on over to our Reviews page.