If you’ve seen the trailers for Jordan Peele’s Get Out, then you’re probably thinking that the movie is a typical gory slasher film.
Here’s the real truth: it’s anything but typical. There’s a reason the film has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 100 per cent, and that’s because it’s unlike any other horror film ever made. Yes, that’s a big statement, but Get Out truly is indescribable.
In the overly bloated horror genre, Peele’s creation is a welcome change; it has very little gore and has the usual jump scares, but it doesn’t need them. His satirical take on horror, on the stories we’ve seen and heard many times onscreen, is so refreshing you won’t be able to look away. Not to mention the entire movie is a commentary on cultural appropriation, cleverly depicted in the ridiculous and attention-grabbing plot. And it’s funny. Like really funny.
So wait, what kind of horror movie is this?
It’s not a slasher, it’s not a gorefest, but it has the suspense and creepiness of a horror movie. That’s where the similarities end. At first, while watching, you may not know how to feel. You may ask yourself: what is this movie trying to be? There are times when you want to laugh, but almost feel bad doing it. The subject matter is serious stuff — this movie is primarily about a group of white people enslaving black people for their own ends (which I won’t spoil here) — but with Peele’s treatment, it comes across as smart, timely, and most of all, hilarious.
But how can a movie about enslavement be funny?
Again, it’s very hard to describe without spoiling, but the dialogue and jokes are spot on. Lead actor Daniel Kaluuya, whose character Chris is visiting his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents’ house for the first time, is a magnetic force onscreen. Chris takes the racism directed his way by ridiculous, cringe-worthy questions and observations from Rose’s family and brushes them off or rolls his eyes. It’s a testament to Kaluuya, the other fine actors of the cast, and to Peele’s writing that this film comes off as an almost comedy.
(The true scary horror, when you step back, is that this happens to folks of African descent each and every day.)
How is the rest of the cast?
Stellar. Williams, of Girls fame, is a touch wooden throughout the beginning of the movie, but you’ll see that there’s a purpose to that as well. Supporting cast members Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta) and comedian LilRel Howery are standouts. Howery especially has impeccable comic delivery, and almost steals the movie away from Kaluuya. But make no mistake: this is a breakout role for the lead actor, who can expect many future castings based on this film.
Is there nothing horror-like about Get Out? Shouldn’t I feel cheated based on the trailers?
You might feel that way, temporarily, at the beginning. To be clear, there isn’t any other movie in the horror genre (or any other genre, frankly) like Get Out. It has elements of horror — creepy, unexplained characters, an old Southern-style house, erratic movements in the dark and sudden scares — so in that sense you shouldn’t feel cheated. What you get instead of the run-of-the-mill horror is something innovative and new, something you’ll be unpacking for days after viewing the movie. And c’mon, aren’t we getting bored of the stale horror formula?
What’s the bottom line?
This is a must-see movie for any horror fan or comedy buff. It’s already being praised as the best film of the year so far, and that is undoubtedly correct. In an era of reboots, remakes and poor imitations, Get Out carves its own niche and breathes new air into a stagnant genre. Never boring and almost always funny, Get Out has one of the finest endings in recent cinematic memory. You won’t regret shelling out money for this.