Jordan Peele’s Get Out is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in recent years. It’s incredibly written and has some fantastic cinematography. Not to mention it has great performances from daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Kener, and Lil Rel Howery. however these are things that you already know. The movie is almost five years old and received plenty of praise. I’m sure I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said by someone more intelligent than me. However I did find certain aspects of the movie so enjoyable I felt I needed to give the movie my belated and personal praise
First I wanted to share my thoughts on how well the movie builds suspense. Jordan Peele perfectly balances the way information is delivered to the audience. Enough is revealed to the viewer to give them a sense of unease. Yet not enough information is revealed to the viewer (and Chris) until it’s too late.
The very casual racism, micro aggressions, and odd behavior by the Amitages is unfortunately expected by the audience. However, the peculiar behavior from Georgina, Walter, and later Logan tells us clearly something is wrong here. They act, as Chris says, “like they missed the movement.” They clearly aren’t right, and the fact that we (and Chris) don’t know exactly what is happening is, in my opinion, more frightening than any jump scare.
Other moments like this include the way the party goers acted, especially Logan. Between his odd speech and mannerisms he clearly isn’t normal. And after his “seizure” he has effectively scared us and Chris, yet we and Chris don’t exactly know why. I could list other moments, like the first instance of hypnosis(which I’ll get to) or the auction crosscut with Chris telling Rose about his mother But you get the point. Peele’s tight script gradually lowers you into the horrible truth, and once you are able to connect the pieces, it’s too late.
Secondly, I wanted to talk about the horror setting, if you will. Get Out does something that i think is pretty cool when it come to the setting. Horror movie are typically shot in places that frighten people. Whether it be a haunted house, a spooky forest, or an elaborate murder maze, horror movies tend to be set in an environment that is scary. However Get Out takes place at a beautiful home. The movie opens in a lavish suburb.
These places aren’t supposed to be frightening, or at least, frightening to white people. To a black person, I imagine a suburb filled with middle aged to old white people can be scary. To a black person, I imagine a house in the middle of the woods filled with out of touch white people can be opposing.
Get Out takes place in an environment that maybe I, as a white man, wouldn’t find particularly off putting. However, to a black person, these places are alien and hostile even. They represent an aspect of society that is unfamiliar to them, and unfamiliarity often creates fear
Third, I wanted to give my praise to the look in Get Out. I hate to admit I’m not too familiar with the technical jargon of filmmaking. But there were some absolutely beautiful sequences that demand admiration. Like the opening tracking shot that doesn’t cut until credits begin. Or the dollie zoom when Walter sprints toward Chris. These are all great, but the most fantastic of all of these are the sequences in the sunken place. I don’t know how they filmed these sections but they are incredible. The slow falling into abyssal nothingness with only faint burbling is terrifying. And the view into the shrinking world is the scary cherry on the cake. I know it is metaphor, but metaphorical meaning aside, it is a beautiful looking and sounding sequence.
Lastly, I thought Rod was a nice humorous touch. I don’t think the movie necessarily called for comedic relief, but Rod perfectly defuses enough tension to keep the movie moving. His humor also serves a greater purpose than just comedy. He, in a very casual and funny way, discovers the truth of the Armitage family. And because of his “TSA training” he finds Chris on his own. Like a badass.
Ok I’m running out of steam so I’ll leave it at this. Get Out is a game changing horror film. Not only in its technical making, but in its brilliant story. I’d give it 7 tea cups out of 8 tea cups.