Get Out is a cool, entertaining movie. I had heard a deafening chorus of hype before walking into the theater (99% at Rottentomates; $135 million in 24 days), so my expectations were very high. Writer/director Jordan Peele has crafted a nifty and witty low-budget social satire masquerading as an occasionally violent psychological thriller; comparisons to The Stepford Wives are inevitable and apt. Daniel Kaluuya did a really strong job of conveying building suspicion that his foxy girlfriend’s parents are more than meets the eye. Allison Williams is excellent as his love interest, while her father and mother are chillingly personified by Bradley Whitford (bringing back the smarm from Cabin in the Woods) and a rather rumpled looking Catherine Keener. Very effective comic relief is provided by Lil Rel Howery, while Stephen Root, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson, and Caleb Landry Jones are all very good in vivid supporting turns.
The film goes back and forth between jet-black comedy with uneasy racial overtones and mostly predictable genre thrills with a sprinkling of clever bloodletting in the final act. And the offbeat, nervy musical score by Michael Abels certainly helped in creating a sense of impending dread, especially in tandem with the smart cinematography choices by Toby Oliver. But while the overall plot is certainly creatively fucked up, I might have been expecting something different, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Peele does well with subverting expectations all throughout. While I wasn’t blown away in the manner that I thought I might’ve been, I’m glad I saw this one on the big screen, as it’s got much to say about how people view each other in the real world, despite its very movie-movie plot trappings (sorry, I don’t believe in hypnotism…at all…) and plot twists that may be foreseen by attentive viewers.
Review by Nick Clement