“Get Out,” director Jordan Peele’s first movie, is destined for classic status. Already well known for his comedy sketch “Key and Peele,” Peele combines suspense, thrill, and humor while providing powerful allegory on race in this extraordinary film. This may seem like a lot to accomplish on a budget of $4.5 million, but it proves that a block-buster-success-to-be doesn’t need actors leaping to and from exploding helicopters, or collapsing buildings, or other pricy movie stunts. Instead, “Get Out” cleverly relies on dynamic writing, extraordinary acting, and a brilliant plot that calls to mind “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “The Graduate,” as well as cult flick “Being John Malkovich” (small doors and Catherine Keener being not the only connections).
Meeting the family can be a daunting milestone in any relationship, but in “Get Out,” protagonist Chris Washington, played by Daniel Kaluuya, has his own unique reasons for being nervous. When Chris is introduced to his girlfriend’s upper-middle class family, he immediately feels uncomfortable by their constant reassurance that they are not racist, strange racially charged comments “sizing” Chris up, and the presence of their all-African-American servants. Soon, the family’s microaggressions take a surprising turn and leave Chris and the audience in shock.
Peele’s approach to race careens from slyly subtle to elephant-in-the-room discomforting. The movie’s instant success makes a second release later in the year, perhaps closer to Oscar nomination time, extremely likely. Even without another release, “Get Out” is sure to receive numerous nominations and will likely earn more than one statuette.
“Get Out” is a must see, and if you already have seen it, go watch it again. In viewing “Get Out” a second time (which is highly recommended by viewers and the director himself), the nuance of the expressions, shrugs, and eye-brow raises will reveal the countless “ah-ha” moments that lead up to the film’s shocking twist. “Get Out” is guaranteed to be a hit for years to come, and surely will go down in history as one of the greatest psychological thriller films of all time. Prepare yourself for slammed-back-in-your seat shocks, jump scares, and plenty of laughs. However, if you leave the theater after seeing “Get Out” feeling in any way comfortable with race in America, you missed a great film.