get out | jordan peele | daniel kaluuya | allison williams | bradley whitford | medical | comedy | mystery | united states | thriller | catherine keener | caleb landry jones | lakeith stanfield | stephen root | marcus henderson | lil rel howery | betty gabriel
Film: Get Out
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams and Bradley Whitford
This film I got to see in the theater with a friend who doesn’t like horror. This movie definitely transcends the genre though. I knew I saw something special here the first time I saw it, but hadn’t given it a second viewing until now. Part of the reason was for the Summer Series over on the Podcast Under the Stairs. The other is that my parents got me the 4K and Jaime had wanted to rewatch this as well. Our synopsis is a young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
We begin with a guy on the phone while he is walking through a suburb. His name we will learn later is Andre Logan King (LaKeith Stanfield). A car then pulls up beside him and turns around so it is now going in the same direction. He glances over at it and decides that he is going to go back the way he came, being in a neighborhood he doesn’t feel comfortable. The car stops and Andre turns back. The driver’s side door is open and then he is attacked. He is knocked out and then drug toward the car.
We then shift to meeting our main character of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya). He is shaving and getting ready. We also see a young woman of Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) buying some breakfast items. She comes to an apartment door and knocks at it with her head. It is the apartment for Chris. She comes in and they kiss. He is packing his things as they are going to go to meet her parents on a weekend get-away. He is nervous, because it seems that she hasn’t told them that he is black. She assures him that won’t be a problem at all.
During their drive, Chris calls his best friend Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery). He is a funny guy who works at the airport for TSA. Rod tells him that he shouldn’t be going to where he is, but mostly to be funny. Chris also puts him on speaker. Rod and Rose joke about her really wanting to be with him. This seems to make Chris a little bit jealous. We also see that he is a smoker. She takes his cigarette away and throws it out the window. She then hits a deer and they stop. He gets out looking at it, as it didn’t die from the hit. They wait for the police officer to show up and get a racist moment where he wants to see Chris’ identification even though he wasn’t driving. Rose defends and shuts it down though.
They then arrive at her parent’s house. As they pull up they pass by the man that is their groundskeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson). The dad is Dean (Bradley Whitford) and the mother is Missy (Catherine Keener). He is a neurosurgeon and she is a psychologist that specializes in hypnotism. They also have a maid by the name of Georgina (Betty Gabriel). Chris finds it a little bit weird that their help is all black, but doesn’t want to be rude. Dean calls this out, trying to put him at ease.
The family seems to love him from the get. They are a little bit awkward about it though and try to fit in with him in the lingo that they use. He plays it off as they are just not used to being around a black man. Rose’s brother shows up that night as well. His name is Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones). He is also awkward, while also being more aggressive. He starts to drink and wants to wrestle Chris. Missy also wants to hypnotize him, trying to break his habit of smoking. Chris isn’t interested and Rose respects him not wanting to.
Things get even weirder that night. Chris goes out for a smoke and gets spooked by Walter running toward him. He also sits with Missy in her study where she hypnotizes him. He wakes up in bed and isn’t sure of what happens. An annual party that the Armitages throw is the following day. A bunch of other rich, white people show up and even a few odd acting black people, but things aren’t as they seem. Chris might actually be here for a different purpose.
My recap for this movie went longer than I wanted as there are quite a few moving parts that I wanted to include. I give credit to writer/director Jordan Peele here for this. The layers to this movie are quite interesting. I like that he is incorporating a few different movies here to tell this story.
Where I should start is with the character of Chris. He is a good guy with a dark past. His father wasn’t in the picture and his mother passed away when he was 11. During his time with Missy, she pulls out what happened when she hypnotized him. This is something that he doesn’t like to talk about due to the guilt he felt. He loves Rose and she seems to understand his plight as much as someone of a different race can. What is even more interesting though, the things that she says or does have a different reasoning than we realize.
Jaime had seen this before, but she didn’t remember the full reveal. I like that the Armitages seems like an affluent family that doesn’t care about Chris’ race, but are going overboard with trying to make him feel comfortable. The deeper we get into this though; they are actually racist at heart. There is this creepy scene in the later second act where they have a legit silent auction for him. It is a bit unnerving. I love the subtle hints throughout this movie that reveal what they’re actually doing.
Now an issue I had the first time with this movie was the tone. I thought the comedy hurt the movie. I’ve heard a lot of podcasts on this and I’ll be honest, it helped me to look past that. Rod is there for comic relief. What is wild though, he’s not completely wrong with what he thinks is happening here. There are things with Walter and Georgina as well as with Logan that by the end of my first viewing had been blown away. I knew something was going to come of the hypnotizing, but I didn’t think that. I like the balance of comedy, horror and even a bit of sci-fi that is seamless. I think some of the comedy also stems from awkwardness which I can appreciate.
So then that should be enough for the story, so I’ll take this to the acting. I think that Kaluuya is on point here. His ability to cry on command is heartbreaking. I love the progress of his character where he feels uncomfortable until he realizes something is wrong and he has to get out of here. He’s a bit too trusting though. I can’t fault him there. Williams is amazing in her role too. She is so disarming to the point where it is sick how manipulative she can be. I thought that Keener and Whitford are good too. Jones is an actor that can play creepy so well that it just works. Henderson, Gabriel and Stanfield are all solid along with Howery and Stephen Root. The acting is great if I’m honest.
That just leaves me with the effects, cinematography and soundtrack. For the former, we don’t get a lot of them, but we don’t need that much either. What we do looks great. I commend the cinematography for a bit of this with the hypnotizing scenes. Seeing him fall into the ‘sunken place’ is terrifying, especially when you think of the ramifications there. Then the last thing is the soundtrack which is on point. It just adds a layer to the atmosphere that works so well.
In conclusion here, this movie is amazing. I liked it the first time that I saw it and even more with the second viewing now that I know what happens. There are little things here that make so much more sense by knowing what is going on. I love the idea here of this family and what they’re doing. There is a good blend of horror, comedy and even a bit of sci-fi. The acting is on point along with what effects we get. I think the cinematography and the soundtrack work well for what we needed on top of that. If you’ve never seen this, especially if you’re someone who is socially conscious, I recommend giving it a viewing. I think you can still enjoy this if not as well.
My Rating: 10 out of 10