Review #17: Get Out (2017)
- Genre: Horror
- Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery
- Director: Jordan Peele
- Running Time: 103 minutes
- Budget: $4.5 million
- Box Office: $255 million
- MPAA Rating: R
Get Out has had a stellar year or so, which recently culminated in the 90th Oscars Ceremony on Sunday. It’s rare you see any movie retain its presence and popularity — and given the fact it’s been a very strong year for movies in general, this film is even better because it hasn’t slipped under the currents by now. Films like Get Out were designed to be reactionary, interactive works, and I think much of the success and appeal of the film is based in it’s relevance to now. I wasn’t able to escape any spoilers because of the massive popularity of the film’s twist, so I went in knowing the ending — but that didn’t ruin the experience.
Quick synopsis time: Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young and talented photographer who agrees to go with his girlfriend Rose Ermitage (Allison Williams) on a weekend excursion out of the city to meet Rose’s parents. But do they know he’s black? Apparently not, but you just wait until the third act to see where that goes. As Chris becomes increasingly nervous about Rose’s parents and their odd qualities, he leads his friend Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery) to become suspicious of the family’s true intentions.
You wanna know what I really think? Get Out is just a more serious, more complex, higher-budget, longer Key and Peele sketch. It almost sounds blaphemous to compare an Oscar-winning film to a Comedy Central series, but I can’t deny it. Don’t get me wrong — I’m huge fan of Jordan Peele’s comedy work; Key and Peele is probably the most creative and genuinely funny comedy series I’ve ever seen. It’s odd — each sketch is distinct in it’s own right, but they all have a similar flavor that’s present in Get Out. If you’re a fan of Key and Peele, there should be absolutely no reason why you don’t like Get Out.
If I briefly check the 4 awards Get Out was nominated for at the Oscars — and the one it did win — I do think the strongest aspect of the film was the screenplay. Not because the acting (Best Actor: Daniel Kaluuya) or directing (Best Director: Jordan Peele) was sub-par, but because the screenplay was above and beyond. These are the kinds of concepts that not just anyone can create, and I guarentee you this film will be embedded in our collective consciousness for decades to come, if not forever. So congrats to Peele for the Best Original Screenplay.
Another part of the film I want to talk about was the acting, specifically by Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya has a bit of a soft spot in my heart, mainly because I recognized him from a Black Mirror episode…and Johnny English 2. Kaluuya’s American accent is spot-on, and he does a great job with everything both small and large. It’s completely believable, and some of his reactionary faces are the funniest things ever. Also, that one picture of his teary-eyed face…it’s already iconic.
The cinematography of the film is also really great, done by DP Toby Oliver. Again, it’s one of those things where it seems reminiscent of a Key and Peele sketch, but I guess that’s just an indication of that show’s superb production value. The lighting was really clean and focused, and it allowed the actors in particular to stand out.
My favorite character was Allison Williams’ Rose Armitage; Williams is fantastic as the manipulative and *actually insane* girlfriend of Kaluuya’s Chris Washington. Don’t get me wrong; she’s a terrible person, but that’s why I loved the performance. All the characters switch at the end of the second act, and that’s where this film really dials it up. I mean, I knew the ending and all, but all of the sudden the whole transplantation thing happens, and everything just goes crazy.
The last thing I want to mention is the pacing/run time: this movie is, and felt, really short. That might just be the horror aspect, with the suspense keeping you engaged and what not, but the movie felt like it was over in a zip, and I actually went to bed at a decent time after watching it. The ending, in my opinion, was perfect; it concluded the story well, and I didn’t feel as if anything was missing. Yeah, I don’t know about the whole leaving a bunch of dead people lying around, but that’s really not important.
One thing I will say: I don’t like the poster. I don’t really know why, but it just looks a little ugly to me. The movie is so well shot — and pretty — and I feel like they missed it on that one. But no biggie.
I don’t really want to talk about the thematic and symbolic complexities of the movie when Jordan Peele can do that himself. In all, it’s a good-looking, well-produced, well-directed story that can please really anyone, unless you’re like racist or something.
Final Rating: 8.5/10