Get Out is a film that I've been cautiously optimistic for. First of all, it comes from Jordan Peele, who is making his directorial debut with this film. I think he and Keegan-Michael Key are brilliant comedic actors, but I didn't know how Peele would fare with directing, especially with a horror film and not something exactly comedy related. Secondly, I was mixed on the trailer. It was weird and strange, and I didn't necessarily know what to think of it. The premise sounded fascinating, but I wasn't sure exactly how the film itself would turn out. I know our other writer, Rob, was really excited for it. You can check out his list of weird independent films here, and see where Get Out ranked on it. But even if Rob was sold on it, I wasn't as much. Then the first reviews came out, saying it was great. It stands now at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes today, but it held 100% for a long time. So after that, I went in pretty excited. And I wasn't disappointed. Jordan Peele turns in a fantastic directorial debut, filled with great horror scenes and hilarious comedic moment, that culminates in a wholly original and unique film.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a black man, is apprehensive when his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) takes him to meet her parents, fearing they will treat him differently. But the longer he stays at the parents house, the more he realizes that something is just not right. 

The first thing that stands out about Get Out is its direction. Jordan Peele is the true break-out star of this film. He brings an ingenuity and a grace to his direction, giving us a very well-rounded movie. We have fantastic moments of horror, which were terrifying. We have brilliant moments of comedy, which were hysterical. We have excellent moments of political commentary, which were thought-provoking. Peele is able to pack so much into one film, and is able to balance it all with perfectly measured ratios, as if he's been doing this for years. Not every director could go from a moment of pure horror to a moment of pure comedy in a second, and Peele is able to do this without it feeling forced. He was also able to build incredible tension and atmosphere, which is not something a lot of horror movies do these days. They just go from jump scare to jump scare, but Peele was able to craft this incredibly tense atmosphere that allowed the elements of horror to breathe naturally. I always thought Keegan-Michael Key outshined Peele as a comedian, but I think Peele could truly dominate as a director now. He shows with this film that he has a gift, and I think we could be in store for many more directorial efforts on Peele's part. 

The performances across the board are surprisingly good. I've seen Daniel Kaluuya in a few things before, mainly Sicario and an episode of Black Mirror, so I was familiar enough with him as an actor. This is by far the best work he's done, and I think it will open the floodgates for him to be able to expand as an actor. He was fantastic in this movie. Allison Williams was also really good as the girlfriend. Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford were also serviceable in their roles, and worked very well for the film. But there's no doubt in my mind that Lil Rel Howery stole the movie. His comedic timing was outstanding, and he had everyone in my theater cracking up with pretty much every line he had. I have never heard of this guy before, but he was absolutely hysterical. I hope to see more of him in the future. But even though this film nails the horror and the comedy aspects, what really deepens it is its political commentary. It's able to make a lot of impactful statements about race and discrimination, without taking itself too seriously. I never felt like Get Out was bashing me over the head with its message, but it rather used the context of the film to communicate its meaning. Unfortunately, that subtlety has been lost on recent films, and it's nice to see it return here.

I don't really have many negatives. There are parts that are cliched and that have been done before, but I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing with this movie. Get Out takes old styles and tired techniques, and interjects them with creativity and originality. Sure, in terms of the actual technique, it's all been done before, but it's used in such a way that it feels fresh. There's nothing truly shocking about the film, and you can pretty much figure out where it's going to go from the beginning. But Peele uses this as an advantage. Even though at its heart its something we've seen dozens of times, it has so much originality in it that it feels like something utterly and completely different. As a fan, I would've liked to have seen this film venture away from the familiar territory towards something that's completely different and unique, but at the same time, I'm glad it didn't. I think Peele used the cliches as a crutch, since he is a first time director. Had Peele jumped too far into the deep end, this movie could've ended up a mess. Peele, brilliantly so, was able to use the cliches in the film as a way to anchor his direction, and it works. 

Overall, Get Out is a fantastic directorial debut for Jordan Peele. He proves that he can do more than just be funny, and gives us an incredibly effective horror film. He is able to navigate through the horror and the comedy, and gives us a very unique film. The performances across the board are fantastic. Daniel Kaluuya shines as the lead, and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Allison Williams, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford were also really good in their roles. But Lil Rel Howery steals the movie with his scenes, and I can't wait to see more from him. The movie was a little cliched and was kind of predictable, but Peele uses this as an asset rather than as a weakness. In the end, Get Out is a must see movie for horror fans, and for those wanting to support independent film and original movies.


What do you think? Have you seen Get Out? Did you like the film? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below. 

Written by: Nate
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