Get Out (d. Jordan Peele USA 2017)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment:

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Performances:

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Predictability:

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Technical:

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Introduction

Get Out (d. Jordan Peele USA 2017) is one of few more original horror films to come out recently. It’s the first film directed by Jordan Peele – who’s largely a TV actor. With the horror films mostly out today like The Conjuring (d. James Wan USA 2013) and Ouija (d. Stiles White USA/Japan 2014) we see a reliance on the supernatural mostly in the form of ghosts or demonic possession. Though this could be at the forefront of recent horror – there is a lot more beneath the surface. Get Out is certainly one of them. A film a lot more like films such as Society (d. Brian Yuzna USA 1989) or Shivers (d. David Cronenberg Canada 1975) or even Invasion of the Body Snatchers (d. Don Siegel USA 1956), whilst also playing the racism card for its theme. This film could be completely relevant and frightening or it could be boring and fear mongering.

A Horror

Get Out certainly boasts of its cast. There are some able performances here. However, through either script or direction, the point is lost on some of them. Some performances feel so stereotypically creepy and wrong as to almost be hilarious. I think back to a basic chant of ‘the greater good’ in Hot Fuzz (d. Edgar Wright UK/France/USA 2007). This largely takes from any horror that could be presented here despite the films best efforts to keep an unsettling atmosphere. This moves on in the later part of the film to something a bit more resembling the horror or of what’s beneath the surface. In much the same way that Martyrs (d. Pascal Laugier France/Canada 2008)or Hostel (d. Eli Roth USA/Germany/Czech Republic/Slovakia/Iceland 2005) does. Again, in Get Out, it’s a bit of a poor imitation for setting that horror.

 

Themes of Racism

As for the theme of racism. The film is trying to expose something that may be a rather horrible issue underlying American Culture. (Reportedly there are a high number of male black disappearances – again see here.). However, the way that the film handles this subject matter doesn’t quite explore this but shows a mere expression of the fear of its protagonist – Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya). To begin with this feels more relevant to a boyfriend meeting his girlfriend’s family, which feels against the point. SPOILERS: I also feel the decision for said girlfriend (Allison Williams) to be a part of the fear to be an almost poor cliché and that more effective drama could have been reached if she’d been with her boyfriend. Though, depending on how this is handled, could hinder the subject matter. END OF SPOILERS. One of the big questions to come out of this film is whether this film effectively demonstrates a problem or just incites fear and emphasises differences. A complex aim unfortunately, and the film may not work to this aim.

Conclusion

The themes irregardless of its execution: Get Out doesn’t quite know how to handle its performances in setting the atmosphere and tone throughout. With regards to this aspect the film doesn’t quite achieve its aims and can quite often fall into the unintentionally funny category. Perhaps there is a serious issue at work here but the film may completely miss this.

Synopsis

Chris Washington is about to meet his girlfriends parents but very quickly discovers there’s more at work here than he first thought.

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Jordan Peele

Interview with Daniel Kaluuya and Alison Williams

Interview with Cast and Crew

Overanalyzed (sic)

Get Out (d. Jordan Peele USA 2017)



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