Film Review: Get Out (2017)

Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) as they visit Rose’s family for Chris to finally meet Rose’s parents after 5 months of dating. The image of a welcoming and warm family slowly breaks as they spend more time in their family house.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out is unsettling and brilliant. From the prologue where they established the theme and the tone of the film to the very last scene, everything is well thought out. This is a horror movie we all deserve and it fortunately, it lives up to the hype surrounding it. It is not usual to have a horror movie that has a fleshed out story and interesting concept that are well-executed, and this is where Get Out wins.

During the first few scenes, it seems like a typical horror/thriller film but as the story goes on, as they continue to build up the story, all of a sudden, we are being thrown into this world of madness and violence we’ve seen before but with a twist.

This film has airtight direction and writing. Every element is on point and effective. Every scene counts. The first act is for establishing everything, for exposition, and to introduce the character and their conflict. Peele did this perfectly. He laid out the elements – conflict, characters, themes – all over the place but when it got to the third act, these elements all made sense and it was hard to find a hole in this story. There are clues scattered here and there and it is easy to pick them up but the plot twist still works even if it was easy to predict. It works because the direction is brilliant, the pacing is consistent, its tone is solid, and the flow of the story is smooth. And this is the way it should be, since this is a horror film. No one wants to see a horror film that is all over the place with an inconsistent tone and pacing.

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The writing, again, is brilliant. There are subtle hints in the dialogue that helps the audience get a grip on the plot and eventually, the plot twist itself. One of the most memorable scenes is when Chris was meeting the friends of Rose’s family and they started pointing out Chris’ skills, build, form, and even his speed. This is not the type of conversation people usually have when they are breaking the ice. The way they looked at him, and the way they talked to him, it was as if he was being displayed, paraded as a novelty to be sold. The subtlety of the writing and direction help in building the tension adding to the elements that will make the plot twist believable.

Peele also managed to add humor in this horror and thriller film. Get Out has a comedic undertone and for a horror film, this sounds outrageous because how does one even mix humor and horror together? But the execution is brilliant. They made it happen. Chris has lines that are funny and even inappropriate because of his situation but it is hard to not grin because the writing is that good. A horror film with a comedic undertone sounds hard to pull off but with Peele’s directing and writing, the Get Out team managed to execute it.

Daniel Kaluuya‘s performance helped in adding humor in this film. The way he said some lines and even the simplest “Shit” bears so much weight. Kaluuya is great in this film. It is easy to figure out Chris’ thoughts and feelings because of the transparency of Kaluuya’s emotions and even his mannerisms. From the furrow of his eyebrows to a simple glance, Kaluuya played a humane character and this made it easier for us to sympathize with him. This made Chris a likeable character that is worth following.

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Aside from the brilliant writing and directing, the cinematography also helps in creating this clever horror film. Get Out‘s visuals are not grand nor flashy. It is not the type of film that makes the viewers want to pause every second of the film because the shots are visually appealing. It is simple yet it carries a lot of punch and meaning. Every shot has meaning. Peele’s choices in using a close up, extreme close ups, and medium shots makes so much sense. They are telling the story through its visuals and they executed it phenomenally. The cinematography might not appeal to the aesthetics of some people but every shot counts, and this is what visual storytelling should always be like.

Get Out hit all the mark of a great, solid horror film. From amazing writing and directing to acting and cinematography, everything was on point. They executed the story brilliantly and managed to get their message across in an entertaining way. Jordan Peele showed everyone a black person’s nightmare and he did it phenomenally. Through Chris’ character, he showed the uneasiness of a black man surrounded by white people who look at him like he’s a novelty they would like to keep in a glassed cabinet to marvel at.

Get Out will leave you at the edge of your seat wanting for more. Your eyes will be glued on the screen from the first scene to the last. It is brilliantly written and cleverly executed. Get Out is a horror film we all deserve.

 

 

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