Review: Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out is truly a cinematic experience. How wouldn’t? It’s a witty satirical pitch-black comedy about racism served in horror or thriller mantle (depends on how you would perceive it). Furthermore, it feels mysteriously uncomfortable as it sneaks behind and takes you by surprise at every possible turn. To call it one of the most noteworthy films of the year isn’t exaggerating at all.
Before discussing further, I wouldn’t suggest you watching any trailers or reading careless synopsis; therefore, I am writing this spoiler-free review as careful and neatly as possible.
In Get Out, a young black photographer, Chris (Sicario’s Daniel Kaluuya) is gonna meet his white girlfriend, Rose’s (HBO Girls’ Allison Williams) parents for the first time. “Do they know I’m black?” Chris asks Rose before their weekend getaway doubtfully; to which Rose answers with news that her father would even have voted for Obama for a third term. In fact, Rose’s parents (portrayed by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), a neurosurgeon and a hypnotherapist respectively, show genuine interest towards Chris, their daughter’s so-called first black lover; they even employ two black housekeepers. Well, interracial relationship isn’t odd anymore; but something is clearly off in Get Out.
Comedian-turned-director Peele directs his own script confidently in crafting tension and uncomfortable feelings ever since where it starts off; but, that isn’t one thing he crafts. Ridiculously subversive plot he’s working on is consciously raising awareness about how what America (especially) has become lately – where anxiety and inferiority drive people’s thought. Peele takes a real-life horror to a stranger-than-fiction instant horror in Get Out. Believe me, whatever happens in this film, despite its campiness and silly subversion, is likely to happen; and Jordan Peele has stuffed his take on such issue into our eyes.
Get Out serves best as a mystery, in which we barely know what would happen in the next minute. It’s like a guessing-puzzle which needs to be solved pieces by pieces, but we never really know where it leads to. In eerie-suspense settings adorned with disconcerting and discordant score, clues and Chekov guns are scattered away smoothly; and when audiences unravel those things in later scenes, we’ll realize how well-written this horror is. To call it full of twist isn’t exactly wise as the twist level might vary depending on audiences’ references. However, Get Out handles its potential effectively to be able to move forward (whether people perceives its storyline as full of twist or not).
Subtexts play important role in shifting Get Out from a mystery thriller to an instant shuddering horror. I don’t know if you’re ever heard/read about black guy shot dead after uneasy walking in a white suburb or about police antagonizes black guy for a single accident; but those issues along with America’s ‘black’ history of slavery have given enough sense to create a real horror America has never purposely made. White man privilege and black man ‘non-privilege’ are two opposite things that has pushed this film too far it becomes substantial.
Peele, a comedian, seems to realize that there is a mutual purpose of comedy and black people in a horror film: to ease the tension; however, he also realizes that both of them have never been taken seriously in ‘white man horror.’ Therefore, in his interracial horror, he ensures that ‘black’ black comedy might go hand-in-hand with the terror to end in a most provocatively satisfying, defying-the-convention, over-the-top finale. Clearly, it’s a well-crafted remix of ever-seen-before niches that you’ve never seen before (or, at least, you’ve seen differently).
Presented as a social satire, a super-satisfying horror and a slick answer to white-man horror, Get Out ventures beyond that. It’s a clever parable of how horror films can ‘actually’ picture up a real life horror without losing the zeitgeist. It is a true cinematic experience and Jordan Peele’s surely a filmmaker to watch.
Get Out (2017)