Get Out is written and directed by Jordan Peele (‘Keanu’) and stars: Daniel Kaluuya (‘Sicario’), Allison Williams (‘Girls’), Catherine Keener (‘Being John Malkovich’), Bradley Whitford (‘The Cabin in the Woods’), Caleb Landry Jones (‘X-Men: First Class’), and Lil Rel Howery (‘Mad Families’).
Opening with a doozy of a stereotype reversing opening scene which features a young black man lost and alone in a dangerous white suburban neighbourhood, three things are immediately clear: ‘Get Out’ will confidently and honestly comment on race in America, it will be extremely scary, and first-time director Peele might just already be a master of horror.
Rose (Williams) is taking her photographer boyfriend Chris (Kaluuya) home for the weekend to meet her parents, and is concerned about the reaction to his blackness from her white parents who she insists are “not racist, just lame”.
When we reach the family home there are immediate red flags: a locked basement, the nearest house is across the lake, and there is some creepy help – a black caretaker and maid who are all wide smiles with tears in their eyes. Something is definitely going on, and very definitely wrong. Chris’s friend Rod (Howery), a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) agent, is dog sitting for him and urges him to leave immediately on the phone.
But Chris wants to stay out of obligation to Rose and his own curiosity. Her father (Whitford) seems OK, just awkward – always saying “my man” and wanting to talk about Obama; but Rose’s brother (Jones) seems crazy and itching for physical confrontation; while her psychiatrist mother is more psychologically threatening. After sneaking out for a smoke, she catches and forcibly hypnotises him one night – in the scariest hypnosis scene ever.
The next day, sick with fear and surrounded by cringe inducing guests at a family garden party, Chris makes a chilling discovery – but will he be able to get out, and if not, will Rod put the pieces together in time to help him?
Allison Williams is incredible and banishes any thought of her waspish character on ‘Girls’ for good. Daniel Kaluuya is a brilliant everyman, who is relatable and smart – making decisions and taking actions that align with what you know you would probably do too. Lil Rel Howery is the opposite – he is the voice of the audience member yelling at the screen to “GET OUT!”, in a breakout performance that guarantees we will all respect the TSA agents that pat us down and scan our bags a heck of a lot more in future. Rod also provides plenty of much-needed terror and tension releasing laughs.
This constant creeping fear and uneasiness is heightened by an awesome soundtrack, courtesy of Michael Abels, that is like a bluesy ‘Suspiria’ score played by Goblin with banjos. Highly confident and competent, Peele inflicts suspense, jumps and rug pulls galore, and has the mastery to just let long moments of horror play out as we come to grips with the the film’s horrifying truth. Chilling and terrifying, ‘Get Out’ is a flat out horror masterpiece. The hype is real, and Jordan Peele is a genius.
Get Out is released in the UK on the 17th of March.