Ghosts. Monsters. Psychopaths. Demons. Ghosts. Plagues. Aliens. Ghosts. I would assume that that’s a typical list of “horror creatures” that a typical movie-goer might come up with. One wouldn’t think that “Racism” might fall into that category.
And that’s what “Get Out” set out to do according to their trailers. The fact that this was such an out-of-the-box idea made me really excited to see it despite the fact that a majority of racism-related movies tend to get extremely cheesy and preachy. This is also despite the fact that it was written and directed by Jordan Peele, a man who’s mainly known for hammering the same joke into the ground over and over again with his buddy Key.
After all of my naysaying, however, I have to say that while not perfect, Get Out is quite a fantastic horror-comedy. The entire experience was unique, funny, terrifying, and satisfying.
Something that impressed me right off the bat was just how well the entire movie was shot. Not only does the film consistently show an attention to detail, but there is a clear finesse in how they shot the entire movie. From the lighting, to the long and stretched out scenes, to the extreme close-up shots, nearly every single shot complimented the creepiness of the entire movie, making it all the more scary.
Daniel Kaluuya does great in his role. The man hasn’t been in much aside from Sicario, but this performance here is top notch, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing if he continues picking fantastic projects.
Everyone else also does extremely well in their roles.
What really emphasized these performances were the small mannerisms that Peele and his team bothered to put into each character. Too often, the horror genre settles for placing a bunch of bad (re: cheap) actors into cliche roles and expect the audience to be scared by the same thing over and over again. In Get Out, the characters felt real.
Too often, the horror genre settles for making characters act irrationally in order to meet their timely demise. In Get Out, the characters rarely act irrationally, and when they do, there is almost always a reasoning for it.
The movie also has a surprising balance between the horror moments and the comedic ones.
The comedic moments are largely handled by Kaluuya’s friend (who was extremely funny in a jarring sort of way), but there are a lot of moments without him that have a successfully comedic tone.
What’s even better is that the comedic moments never clash with the scary moments, which would have nullified both elements if they failed to do this.
Now as for the race-issues part of the movie, is there anything in there that is considered preachy? In my opinion, no. There are a few scenes where it’s obvious that they’re making a “this is what a white person says to prove they’re not racist, but really they’re racist” statement, but every instance of this compliments the actual story and never feels ham-fisted.
The critiques I have for this movie are rather small; one of them has to do with the plot’s predictability. I found myself successfully calling out twists or surprises in the movie, sometimes well in advance. Now one of these surprises I called out was because the trailers gave too much of the movie away, but there were some that I picked up without the trailer spoiling it for me. That being said, the twists never feel cheap, making them almost entirely forgivable.
Also, despite the fact that the character logic is almost completely sound in this movie, there were one or two times where a character did something nonsensical, and I would ask why that even happened. And the few times that it did happen, the answer was “so that we could give the audience some key information.”
There was also a jump scare or two that was entirely unnecessary and dumb.
With all that said, Get Out is a fine movie that is currently one-of-a-kind. Many horror elements do feel familiar, but all of these elements are done exceptionally well. When I saw that this movie got such a high score on Rotten Tomatoes, I was afraid that, like Sausage Party and Moana (for example), it was critically praised for its message rather than being a fantastic movie. Thankfully, my fears were completely eased.