Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Get Out (2017)

Fig 1 - Get Out Poster
I think we can all agree that 2017 did not begin with a particularly stable social climate. What with ever-dwindling news of the 'travel-ban' under President Trump and the inevitable triggering of Article 50 after the Brexit vote, the past year feels like one of the most transparently divisive in recent history. As such, it felt as though a satire like Get Out was bubbling at the surface waiting to be made, and would serve as the perfect cacophony of racial politics and militant liberalism in these times of great uncertainty.

Written by first-time director Jordan Peele, Get Out begins with the abduction of an African-American man who is seemingly lost in a gentrified US suburb. The scene sets an unsettling tone for the events about to unfold, all of which takes place to the blaring sound of Flanagan & Allen's 'Run Rabbit Run'. From here, we are introduced to Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), a happy couple preparing for a trip to visit Rose's family. Chris asks outright whether or not Rose has informed her family that he is black, and when she says no, we witness his anxiety increase even more-so. We eventually witness the meeting between Chris and Rose's parents (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), which seems to play out as smoothly as one would hope. We witness all the usual tropes of the awkward jokey dad, the overly-hospitable mother and even Rose's kooky brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) as Chris settles into the Armitage home. However, Chris cannot shake the feeling that something feels off about their groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson) and maid Georgina (Betty Gabriel), whose strange behavior leads Chris down a road of paranoia and concern whilst trying to remain polite in his role as their guest...

Fig 2 - Get Out - Chris opens up
I had read several reviews of the film before watching, so naturally I was ready for a decent, racially-conscious satire going in. Which it is, and easily could have been just that, but what makes Get Out a great film is it's ability to be so much more. It's a film that will absolutely keep you guessing and will confidently thwart any attempts to even try. Even without the themes of racial politics, the film can be viewed as a straight-up original horror story, the likes of which have not played on misconceptions this defiantly since Drew Goddard's The Cabin in the Woods (2012).

Incidentally, the cast does a collectively superb job here. From Daniel Kaluuya as the consistently perplexed Chris to Caleb Landry Jones' unnerving brother character, there is really no fault in the casting. Furthermore, it is terrific to see Kaluuya finally given the chance to express his full range in a lead big screen role, with great TV performances in shows like Black Mirror and Skins. His ability to show utter disbelief whilst taking slight offense in a single look often make for a better alternative than any line of dialogue.

I wouldn't want to say much more in fear of giving anything away, other than the fact that this is a Grade A film. It's smart enough that it merits a second viewing even, as the whammy of an ending will make you question everything you've witnessed. I laughed, I winced, I was surprised and I was terrified. And I implore you to Get Out and see this movie.


Fig. 1 Get Out Poster (2017) From: Get Out - Directed by: Jordan Peele

Fig. 2 Get Out Screenshot (2017) From: Get Out - Directed by: Jordan Peele

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