Get Out movie review

Kai Christiansen, A&E Editor

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Get Out is the writing and directorial debut of Jordan Peele and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener. The film is satire on current racial issues in the disguise of a dark, horror comedy. As much as I wanted to love it, is a mixed bag for me. It has a lot of triumphs in directing and acting, but a few shortcomings and missed opportunities.  

It has been a while since I have seen a film in a theater with some really creepy imagery, and to see it being done by Jordan Peele was spectacular. From the opening sequence to the very end, Peele made bold and strong choices in imagery and directing to capture the audience. There were a lot of steady shots in the film where the horror had time to develop and expand, and instead of cutting away, Peele held the shot or would cut back and forth between the action and the reaction.

Along with directing, Peele did a fantastic job with writing. So much of the film feels like genuine conversation between two or more people which is a strong testament to Peele’s screenwriting. When you forget you’re watching characters on a screen and start to imagine them as real people, that is when a script has succeeded. Not only are the characters so well defined, but there is some really fantastic and subtle foreshadowing brought up in dialogue that is super easy to miss. When looking back on the film as a whole, so many of the twists and character motivations make complete sense because of the subtle dialogue and events that take place.

The acting in the film is equally as strong as the writing and directing in the film. I’ve only seen Daniel Kaluuya in one movie, that being Johnny English: Reborn, and to see him give such a spectacular performance was amazing. All of his mannerisms felt so realistic and whenever he cried on screen his eyes looked and felt real. He gave such a strong performance in the movie and practically carried the film. Not to say the supporting cast was not good, however, because they also knocked this film out of the park. Lil Rel Howard played a character that was literally comic relief and he was hilarious. His character is what makes the satire in the film work so well and without him the film would have lost some of its key aspects to it. Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford, as usual, were really good. Keener has some spectacular scenes were the entire story is told through her face.

I have two complaints with this film, one being a minor pet peeve and the other being the climax of the film. There is an unnecessary jump scare in the film that nearly ruined some great buildup of tension. In the first half of the film, Kaluuya is walking through the house and behind him, one of the servants run past. I would be fine with this moment in the movie if it weren’t for the fact that it was accompanied by a sharp and loud noise. Unwarranted jump scares like these completely take me out of the moment and ruin the buildup of suspense in a scene.

The other problem I have with this film comes from the climax and ending of it. The film has great buildup of tension and subtle foreshadowing all throughout the film, and with great twists thrown in, I was expecting this big dramatic finale. Instead, the climax felt rather tame. Although it does have some great parts in it and good character motivations, I was left needing more from it instead of feeling satisfied. Although some of the character deaths were extremely cathartic (one resulting in the auditorium lighting up with cheers), it felt more subdued than it should have.

Overall, Get Out is a strong dark comedy that utilizes satire to increase the overall effect of the film. Jordan Peele crafted a fantastic film that utilizes some fantastic imagery and dialogue to heighten the underlying sense of fear and anxiety. If the ending was a bit stronger and the film had shaken off a few of the cliches, I would have liked it a lot more. 7/10