May 28, 2017
A quick guide to the ranking system:
8.5 – 10 : Loved it.
6.5 – 8 : Liked it.
4.5 – 6 : Worth a watch.
2.5 – 4 : Didn’t like it.
0.5 – 2 : Hated it.
0 : Watching paint dry.
Director: Jordan Peele.
Length: 103 minutes.
Mid-credits scene? No.
After-credits scene? No.
There is a lot to say about the movie Get Out and basically all of it is good - spoiler alert, that's because it's a really, really good movie. The performances are wonderful and engaging, it’s beautifully shot and put together, the atmosphere is as tense as any thriller or horror out there, the soundtrack is perfect, the protagonist is really smart (instead of being an idiot, as is the norm for most horror/thriller films), and, heck, I could go on and on and on, and I still wouldn't get to mentioning the great satirical elements of the film.
Now, luckily for me, nobody else writes for the blog, so I don't have to be brief in what I have to say and I get to write anything I want (blinks twice). Unluckily for me, nobody else writes for the blog. Now, despite the laundry list of praise I have for the film - which I'll be mostly saving for the review - there is one thing that is abundantly clear after watching the film: first-time-director Jordan Peele, the (Key) Peele in Key and Peele, is clearly the real deal.
Now, in the film, we follow the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a black photographer, as he spends the weekend at his white girlfriend Rose Armitage’s (Allison Williams) family house in the country. Although that premise is already scary enough, as the weekend passes, Chris begins to notice that certain things seem a bit off as he meets more of Rose’s family and family friends. Emmy-award-winning Brad Whitford plays Rose’s father Dean, Oscar-nominated Catherine Keener plays Rose’s mother Missy, and Lil Rel Howery plays Chris’s friend Rod Williams.
Normally, I'll embed a trailer round about this point, but Get Out's trailer unfortunately spoils large portions of the film, so in the interest of preserving some of the suspense, I won't embed it. If you want to watch the trailer regardless, click here.
But what kind of movie is it exactly?
Although it does share common elements from comedies, horrors, and thrillers alike, I would be hesitant to commit to boxing the film in any of those choices. Instead, writer-director Jordan Peele's creation is a bit difficult to define.
But that's not to say there aren't any other films like it; it's just the comparisons are more specific than just "horror" or "thriller". For instance, shortly after it's secret debut at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Get Out appeared in a film series arranged by writer-director-producer Peele at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The series, which was named: Jordan Peele: The Art of the Social Thriller, consisted of films such as The Shining, The ‘Burbs, The Silence of the Lambs, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, The People Under The Stairs, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Funny Games, Candyman, Scream, Rear Window, and Misery.
And although these films seem only loosely tied together, they are all examples, as the series title suggests, of the genre Peele puts his own movie in: "social thriller." In an interview on the New York Times podcast Still Processing (episode 26; the interview starts at 14:57, but there are spoilers for Night of the Living Dead and Get Out), Peele explained what that meant, saying, “All the movies I put together – besides Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which isn’t an actual thriller – but they all deal with this human monster, this societal monster, and the villain is us.” Having watched Get Out, I can say it fits the description well.
But more specifically, the film focuses on “what scares black people about white people,” though Peele made it clear that the movie could be enjoyed by everyone else as well. In the same interview, he said, “For me, a lot of what this movie was about was representation, it was about marginalization of black people, and in some ways, specifically within the horror genre. I feel like black people are a very loyal horror fan base and we sit in these darkened theatres yelling at the screen, and the black guy’s the first guy to die and after that there’s no representation. And so, that’s what this movie is meant to serve, at the same time giving a movie that you don’t have to be black to like. You can just come in and enjoy the horror of it.”
As a non-black person (what gave it away?) who is admittedly neither a horror nor thriller fan – though I’ve probably watched too many at this point for that statement to still be true – I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I can’t wait to watch it again and see what little details I missed the first time around; and this is the kind of movie that gets better each time you watch it. Also, in case you think some of the satire might not be completely relatable here in the UK, I don’t think there’s much to worry about, most of it is very universal.
All in all, a must watch film: 9/10
We’ll be showing Get Out at 19:00 on the 30th of May and 1st of June; you can get tickets at the door from 18:45. Oh, and don’t forget to read part II afterwards for a more in-depth review with spoilers.
Thank you for reading! You can find more previews and reviews like this one here! If you have any questions, you can e-mail the cinema at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com. Check out our Twitter and Facebook for more details, or if you don’t have Facebook or Twitter, the Imperial Cinema website’s got all your needs covered!
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