WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
I have to be honest here, when I first saw the trailer for Get Out, I legitimately thought it was a joke, like seriously. It looked so ridiculous that when I saw Jordan Peele’s name on it, I thought it was a confirmed troll job. To my surprise, it wasn’t a joke and I thought to myself “ok good one, you got me…it’s serious??? Oh dear God…” If you can imagine my shock of this being a real film, then you can imagine my shock that the film came out to rave reviews and no critics have written a negative review about it on Rotten Tomatoes thus far…not a single one. Given the racial commentary in this film, reviewers were basically walking on landmines in the way they talked about it. News of IMDB shutting down its message boards and Reddit censoring comments pointing out the elephant in the room, I wondered if people truly enjoyed this film or where they were too afraid to be ‘that guy’ so they went to score political brownie points. There was only one left to do and that was to watch it for myself. Was Jordan Peele’s praise was justified or critics were drowning in a sea of white guilt. The answer is Jordan Peele took advantage of white guilt to make a damn good movie.
Get Out is a Blumhouse horror film about an interracial couple meeting her side of the family for the first time. The film takes both sides of a couple’s uncertainties and plays off of them to create tension and suspense. When it comes to a white woman dating a black man, both worry about being accepted and presenting prejudices to the other side. With such an unconformable topic, the idea of turning this into a horror film was actually pretty genius. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) drive to her parents’ house and while they are welcoming and accepting, something feels off about the engagement, noticeably the black workers on the property act like they are in a trance. As the film progresses, Chris starts to see that there is something wrong with Rose’s family, her brother seems aggressive, her father seems untrustworthy and her mother has the ability to force people into a state of hypnosis, so you can see good things are about to occur.
Jordan Peele said that the film takes aim at racism in white liberal America, which the center theme of Get Out. While I was worried the film would spend too much time preaching, it really just focuses on the fact that when people try too hard not to appear racist, they are actually more insensitive than the racism the claim to fight. From the dad assuring Chris that he would have voted for Obama a third time if he could or people asking him about his struggles as a black man in this country, Peele being a bi-racial man married to a white woman in real life understands that people tend to overcompensate for their race when it’s not needed. Even Rose at times takes offense to what she projects as racism even though there was no intent to be found. Not despite Peele claims he did not base this film on his wife’s family, I refuse to believe that much of the writing didn’t come from his own personal experiences.
The film excels in visual storytelling as the theatrics is better than the script. The reason why I said that making a horror film about white guilt was a pretty genius idea is because the audience is already on edge with the topic not knowing what to expect. Using this, the writer can toy with their emotions and try to make them predict the character’s intention based on their own experiences and judgments. The film will set up a scene where someone’s actions will come into question, but you don’t know the intent behind them. Just like the characters in the movie, the audience will over think and come to their own conclusions. It’s as much of a reflection of its audience as it is the characters.
What I do have to knock the film for is the writing outside of the central theme. The film’s weakest part is certainly in its third act when we finally discover what the hell is going on. After an hour of build, we find out Rose’s parents are exactly as shady as we think they are. Turns out, they lead a new age slave trade where old white people buy the bodies of young black people so they can continue to live. They do this by removing the brains from their bodies and putting them into their new black host. Yeah, they kinda lost me here as well, especially since they didn’t even try to explain how that works anyway. The last act is a Blaxploitation revenge film as Chris must survive or suffer the same fate as many others. Chris also has a friend at the TSA named Rod who is the comedic relief. Rod tries to save his friend from a distance and he’s the only person who calls the situation from the beginning. The film turns into schlock towards the end, but the good kind and given this is a blumhouse film, it is par for the course.
I went into Get Out as open-minded as I could, ready to call bullshit if needed be, however, I can honestly say the film deserves its praise and it is a very entertaining movie. Get Out does not come without some flaws but for first time director Jordan Peele, he delivers a solid hit here. Alison Williams is brilliant cast as the naïve white girlfriend, and Daniel Kaluuya is a stand out as the lead in his first role since 2015’s Sicario. Get Out isn’t a film that people have to worried about being lectured to or a film people are afraid to criticize because they don’t want to be called racist. It is a Great Horror/Comedy that exaggerates social issues to get some great laughs and suspense.
OFFICIAL RATING: ****
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