Get Out relies less on gore and more on psychology, resulting in the scariest cup of tea and tiny silver spoon ever seen.
Get Out begins with a young, beautiful interracial couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) hanging out in a large modern loft with a little scruffy dog talking about love and life. Chris packs up his bag as Rose lists all the items he should remember to bring with him to her parents house for the weekend. He stops his packing to ask her, “Do they know I’m black?” She tells him no, and says they don’t need to. She assures him they are not racist and they are good people.
They arrive to a large ranch style home with Rose’s parents standing outside of the front door looking like a cover straight out of House & Garden Magazine. They seem nice enough, as Mom (Catherine Keener) is a quiet, calm psychiatrist who loves to stir her tea, and Dad (Bradley Whitford) is a loud, know it all guy who never stops talking. He asks the couple how long this “thang” has been going on, and then takes Chris on a tour, telling him about black athlete’s accomplishments in the Olympics, and how much he adores Obama. Ok we get it, he’s so not racist!
It all seems harmless, just old white folks trying their best to go out of their way to let Chris know that they are super cool with black people, and love them in sports and politics. Then the parents find out Chris smokes cigarettes and, well, things start to go south. Mom is a hypnotherapist with a technique that makes people quit smoking in a day (seriously, this woman needs an infomercial). She offers to do this to Chris and he politely says no. Then he notices something strange, their family has a black maid and a black handy man working for them. That’s a bit old school and all, but what’s even stranger is their behavior. They walk around like robots and say strange things, like they’re living in Stepford town, even dressing up like old 1940’s hired help.
Chris has no one to reach out to but his best friend Rod (LilRey Howery) who is taking care of his dog back home. Rod tells him that all of this sounds off, and that he should watch out for these strange white people with black servants who do as they say. Then there’s the Mom who is obsessed with tea and wanting to talk to Chris about his past and his smoking. All of these suspicious things being to unravel, revealing crazy twists and tense sequences leading to, well, I’ll just leave it right here.
Get Out is an edge of your seat psychological thriller from beginning to end. It’s believable even in it’s most outrageous Manchurian Candidate style hypnotic way, and its scary throughout, while providing many laughs. The social commentary on the older generation going out of their way to tell the younger one how “not racist” they are is sad, sometimes funny, and all too real. Whether it’s name dropping Tiger Woods as the best golfer or saying you would vote for Obama a third time if you could, you see through Chris’s eyes what it’s like to face a different kind of racism in modern times.
Daniel Kaluuya makes an excellent leading man, and Allison Williams is perfect as the cardboard cutout white girl. Their chemistry is strong throughout, with Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener standing out as her seemingly nice and strangely creepy parents. In fact, one of the most interesting perspectives the film offers is Rose’s blindness to her parents racism, and how being with Chris opens her own eyes to the small things they say.
Ultimately, the films best moments belong to LilRel Howery. As Chris’s best friend, and the films voice of reason, Howery is hilarious while still being serious. He provides laugh out loud moments, and serves as the film’s detective. He’s the most “Key & Peele” part of the film which for the most part is a serious thriller. Jordan Peele makes his directorial debut and he knocks it out of the park. Stepping away from over the top comedic skits, he makes a scary horror film with modern satirical statements.
Get Out is so good it’s scary, and it comes out at a most perfect the politically, with race being discussed all around. Peele writes a very smart script, including scenes that are all too familiar, commenting on an older generation still holding on to fragments of old school racism, to a younger generation that is more accepting, yet blind to their parent’s own prejudices. There are standout performances from every single person in the film, both black and white, as each and every character is fully realized.
Get Out is a different kind of horror film, and one that hopefully we will see more of in the future. Relying less on graphic violent gore and more on psychological thrills, the film is successful in being both creepy and witty. Who knew a cup of tea and a small silver spoon could be more terrifying than a slashing bloody axe murder?