Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener
The best horror films don’t just scare you, they make you feel uncomfortable - and Jordan Peele’s modern horror masterpiece Get Out will have you squirming in your seat for all of its 104 minutes.
Get Out is a painfully tense and often claustrophobic abduction horror flick, with an innovative plot set against the backdrop of modern racial attitudes in the US. It is a film which confidently tackles the subject of race head-on, pulls elements of real-life together, and shapes them into an intensely entertaining caricature of racism in liberal America.
Get Out possesses an awkwardness, personified by the Armitage family who, on meeting our protagonist Chris, try far too hard to be okay with him being African-American. This constant uncomfortableness is almost too much to bear, and it is made harder still as the plot unfolds when things start to become more and more unnerving and sinister. As a horror film, Get Out has a balance which is hard to achieve; you don’t want to be watch, but you simply can’t not.
Daniel Kaluuya gives a knockout performance as the guarded Chris Washington, portraying his character’s unease and confusion perfectly, mimicking that of the audience, while also producing some extraordinary and unexpected displays of emotion. This is certainly Kaluuya’s film. Not that the rest of the cast don’t bring their A-game. Keener, Whitford and Jones - as members of the Armitage family - switch from charming to chilling with an effortlessness which cools the blood. Not one member of the cast faults, not one breaks the ambience and does anything other than add to the sinister, mysterious atmosphere which is wonderfully suffocating.
The plot displays some weak points, however. The story is straightforward, almost to the point of becoming predictable at times, while paradoxically lacking clarity at others. The atmosphere of this film seems to have been afforded more attention than the story, and certain elements just don’t seem to add up, particularly as the truth behind Chris’s situation is revealed during the film’s final third. At the same time though, its not particularly difficult to see who the enemy is in this film, and much of the viewing time is spent praying that Chris’ knowledge catches up with ours before its too late. It is a contradictory notion, but one that Get Out appears to have made work. That being said, I personally am willing to be forgiving, as neither the film’s predictably nor its confusing plot points make the film any less unnerving.
Get Out is ultimately a brilliantly modern, innovative horror flick, and one which is also socially poignant. Peele has directed his film spectacularly, providing audiences with almost two hours of torturously awkward but simply breathtaking horror - Get Out is perhaps the latest addition to a renowned list of horror greats.
In one line: A fantastic, must-watch horror, superbly delivered, but be prepared for an uneasy ride.