Review: ‘Get Out’ Brings Thrills and Chills from Jordan Peele

Get Out is a rare treasure of a film – a wholly original, weird, twisted and engaging studio film that is not part of a bigger franchise. It’s a movie that will surprise many people and stand on its own without spawning a retread of a sequel and no one will dare to imitate it. It’s not too often we can say that about a movie.

The movie beings with Rose (Allison Williams) and her boyfriend, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) packing to go visit Rose’s parents for the weekend. Rose hasn’t told her parents much about her relationship with Chris, if anything at all. “Do they know I’m black?” he asks her, with a certain level of concern.

Rose hasn’t told her parents she is dating a black man but didn’t feel it was necessary to bring up. She assures Chris that her parents won’t take any issue with their relationship and everything will be fine.

Rose and Chris arrive at her parents’ lavish home and are greeted with open arms and overcompensating cheerfulness by her parents, Dean and Missy (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Dean can’t stop calling Chris “my man” and Missy is welcoming but not without the occasional icy stare.

From the moment Chris steps into the house, something seems off and things only appear to get weirder. The maid (played to eerie perfection by Betty Gabriel) and the groundskeeper (Marcus Henderson) offer glances and robotic pleasantries that are often more unnerving than welcoming. Dean assures Chris it isn’t what it looks like; an affluent white family hiring two black “servants” but Chris isn’t entirely convinced.

That’s just the first half hour or so of Get Out and we can’t talk about the rest until you see it. Writer-director Jordan Peele – yes, that Jordan Peele, one-half of Key and Peele – ratchets up tension so steadily throughout the movie, it’s impressive he is making his feature debut here. In just one movie, he does what most horror filmmakers fail to do in their entire career; he gets under your skin and makes you uncomfortable from start to finish. There are legitimate and well-earned frightening moments throughout the movie.

Get Out has been referred to as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? meets The Stepford Wives and I cannot think of a more apt comparison for this film. Peele tackles issues of race and class effectively and in some obvious ways without ever being preachy. He’s not here to sermonize but to entertain and he more than succeeds at that.

While thrilling and often quite funny, the most exciting thing about Get Out is watching a new filmmaker carve his own path in Hollywood and establish a singular voice in movies. This is just the beginning of what to expect from Peele and he has earned our anticipation of what is yet to come.

Rating: 4/5