Daniel Armstrong got into a sneak preview of the brand new Get Out, to see if comedians can make horror great again.
The directorial debut of Jordan Peele is finally here. Kicking off the first of his five movies about social demons, Get Out takes a dark and twisted look into racism in America. For a comedian turned horror director, it’s understandable that some people may be sceptical of Peele’s ability to terrify, but rest assured Get Out is one horror movie to look out for.
For those who don’t know, Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African American man in an interracial relationship, on a trip to meet his girlfriend’s extraordinarily white parents. Despite his worry that her parents won’t accept him due to the colour of his skin, the meeting goes well, and Chris is accepted into the family. Then things get weird.
Peele’s brilliance shines through here, as we’re treated to scenes filled with ‘diet racism’ so well written that they’ll make you just as uncomfortable as the actual horror scenes later on. Both the dialogue and characters are so cleverly constructed that they might even seem real if you didn’t know you were watching a movie. Speaking of characters, Chris may just be the most fully realised character in modern horror. His actions, dialogue, and even his backstory perfectly fit together to form one complete and believable person.
Of course, this would be nothing without the talented performance from Kaluuya. Despite his English origin, Kaluuya manages to fit seamlessly into the ‘post-Obama’ America that Get Out chooses to portray. And he isn’t the only great performance in the film. Both Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener (who you may know from such horror movies as The Cabin in the Woods and The 40-Year-Old Virgin respectively) really deliver on the idea of the ‘trendy’ white parents with something to hide; going from casually trying to seem cool, to ominously threatening without need for suspension of disbelief.
Though the cinematography and sound design of Get Out are handled well, they’re not exactly the standout parts of the film. While it never felt bad, these aspects sometimes dipped into more average than great. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the scares of the movie, where in some cases a scare was made just for the audience, prioritising startling jumps over logic or originality. Don’t let this put you off though, Get Out understands horror and although not every scare hits its mark, the ones that do are genuinely unsettling.
And that’s really the best way to describe this movie. Instead of all out horror Get Out plays as more of an unsettling social thriller, where fictional horror serves to highlight the real-life issue that so many have to deal with every day.
With a plot that seamlessly flows from being reminiscent of Frank Oz’s satirical The Stepford Wives to having the shocking brutality of Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, Get Out is the brilliant, socially aware and, most importantly, entertaining horror movie that fans of the genre have been waiting for.
Feature image: Screencap from trailer via Youtube.