15 – 104mins – 2017
Despite making a name for himself as a comedy actor with a penchant for parody (MadTV, Key & Peele, Keanu), in his directorial debut, Jordan Peele has found instantaneous critical acclaim as a filmmaker in a widely disparate genre: horror. Get Out consummately merges a creepy mystery with stinging and provocative social commentary to create a racially-motivated thriller with a strong nod to The Stepford Wives.
After four months together, it is time for photographer Chris (Daniel The Fades Kaluuya) to meet his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Girls Williams) parents. Before they leave for the isolated Armitage family estate, Chris admits to feeling anxious about the impending introduction – will middle class liberals Dean (Bradley The West Wing Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Being John Malkovich Keener) accept their white daughter dating an African-American?
Despite the initial exchanges passing pleasantly, Chris’ paranoia at his interracial relationship is heightened by increasingly strange behaviour: Dean and Missy’s servants – both black – act far from normally, while Rose’s brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), grows disturbing hostile towards the new guest the drunker he gets. Furthermore, psychiatrist Missy seems oddly insistent on hypnotising Chris to rid him of his habitual need for a cigarette.
Things descend from bizarre to flat-out disturbing the following day at the Armitage’s annual house party, but despite initially being more than happy to leave with Chris as soon as possible, Rose ultimately drops her long-game pretence and reveals the real reason she cannot let Chris leave her family’s estate… they need him to live the rest of his days in “The Sunken Place.”
Tense, disquieting and darn-right uncomfortable, Get Out is not for the easily unsettled or mildly offended. The first two acts, with Chris compiling and accumulating series of events into a far from friendly picture is masterfully scripted and structured, and while the neurological nightmare that is the grand reveal tips the scales from horror into science fiction, and Chris’ resultant breakout attempt does play out far too swiftly and effortlessly, neither quibble can dilute the powerful potency of that which precedes it. People are raving about this film for a reason, and I urge you to Get Out of the house and to your nearest cinema ASAP to witness Jordan Peele’s superlative shocker.
CR@B’s Claw Score: