Not only is Get Out an excellent directorial debut that’s packed with fun and gore, but Jordan Peele’s delivery on a social-thriller also packs a punch when it comes to racial politics and the naivety in people who don’t view themselves as racist even though they bring up the topic of race indirectly with every other sentence they say. One of the most brilliant scenes from Get Out occurs as Mr. Armitage (Bradley Whitford) is touring Washington (Kaluuya) around his house and first remarks about a picture of how his father lost to Jesse Owens in the olympian selections and then talks about how he had to seal off his basement due to black mold. Neither of these comments are racist, but Peele raises the question of whether these topics of conversation only arise because of Washington’s race and if so, is that racist?
Surely, there’s hypnosis, blood, and guts in this film, but that’s not at all why it’s a horror movie. Get Out is a horror film about human interaction and why we’d assume different behaviors around different ethnicities. There is no reason whatsoever to act different when someone is black or when someone is white, yet people do and that’s troublesome. During a scene in the film, Washington asks his captors, “Why black people?,” to which he receives the answer: “I could give a shit what color you are!” followed by subsequent determined comments saying black people have a better natural build and are cooler.
It’s genius moments like that supported by the foundations of a horror-thriller that make Get Out such an exhilarating experience. There’s seriously nothing like this and for his audacious bravery, Jordan Peele should be celebrated. Not only is he able to deliver on an incredibly fun horror film, but his ability to incorporate a socially relevant backbone onto Get Out is fantastic.
Peele also does something quite great with his protagonist in which he has Daniel Kaluuya act as if he knows what’s going on and is in control of the situation when in reality he’s not. This decision by Peele and execution by Kaluuya builds a false sense of safety in a horror environment, making the viewer feel secure and empowered so when the tables are turned, and our protagonist is thrown into some deep shit our minds are also thrown out of wack because we feel our authoritative sense of safety has been violated when it was but a mere fabrication constructed by Peele and Kaluuya. To complement this, Peele also creates the most artificially white family ever. Seriously, these guys main sports are lacrosse, badminton and golf. The only reason you’re not fooled by these genius fabrications on Peele’s part is because you watched the trailer or saw the poster on the way in that indicated this family was trouble. Otherwise, your mental recognition of stereotypes would’ve definitely kicked in and tricked you, amplifying that sense of broken safety you originally felt.
Get Out is a terrific directorial debut, but with that said there are rookie errors to be found in it. Most noticeably, the transition into the third act in which expositional dialogue is literally televised at the audience. Besides that, there’s no big issues worth delving into, as the film compensates for any tiny errors with it’s fantastic set-up, socially relevant message and bonkers finale. I cannot stress enough how great Get Out is, whether that’s as a social-thriller, an original horror film, or just as a film, Get Out is great, go watch it.