By Adam Ray Palmer
Today’s review is a bit of a catch up one, but certainly worthwhile. I caught the horror of 2017 at the Phoenix Cinema in Leicester over the weekend.
Written, directed and produced by Jordan Peele; Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones and Bradley Whitford.
Get Out isn’t your standard horror, it’s so much more than that…
Get Out follows black photographer Chris (Kaluuya) who is dating the pretty and white Rose (Williams) as they travel to her parents for the weekend. After dating for five months, Chris is meeting Rose’s family for the first time. Rose's doctor father, Dean (Bradley Whitford), and hypnotherapist mother, Missy (Catherine Keener), try to make Chris feel welcome by being overly nice with stereotypical ‘black’ references like Dean commenting to Chris “I’d have voted for Obama a third time if I could”.
When Rose’s parents find out Chris is a smoker, Missy hypnotises him to break his habit. She is successful, but then he starts feeling like strange things are happening. This is coupled with two very oddly acting black servants (Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson) and a ‘whitewash’ party where wealthy, middleclass white people have a gathering at the Armitage’s house which results in some unsettling encounters. Along with Chris, we don’t know whether we are seeing things or something dark is on the horizon.
This horror-thriller is written by Jordan Peele (part of comedy duo Key and Peele), who also co-wrote 2016's Keanu and now makes his directing debut. Get Out seems a very timely addition to the movie world with subject matters relating to race being tackled. Peele tackles the issues in a very thoughtful way. It’s a brutal film but not your standard-edition horror. It’s smart, compassionate, shocking and exquisitely made – not falling down any previous horror genre traps.
What impressed me mostly about Get Out, excluding the riveting plot, was the way it was produced. The movie has assured rhythms, camera placements and editing with no hand-held camera shots and annoying jump-scare scenes. The way Peele handles prejudice through character interactions is a brilliant technique. For instance, an altercation with a policeman asking for Chris’ ID when there is no need is wincingly awkward.
Daniel Kaluuya pulls out a career-best performance in Get Out and stakes a claim to be the next big leading man out of Britain. He tells this important story of Chris’ circumstance with a complex series of reactions. There’s normality of being singled-out, there’s his dismissal stage and then his anger.
Everything considered from the cast performances, including an impeccable show from Caleb Landry Jones who is simply a diamond, the assured direction from Peele and an enthralling narrative that will have you hooked until the final fade out. Get Out is intense entertainment, as well as being a necessary film for present day.
Cineroom’s Review: 5 Stars
Get Out screened at the Phoenix Leicester Cinema last week – certificate 15