For his directorial debut, Jordan Peele delves into the horror genre, presenting an unsettling satirical film “Get Out.”
The talented Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris Washington, an African American man hunted by a white suburban family. The film fearlessly points its finger at the American society and the way it pretends to be “post-racial.” Peele’s film is important now more than ever, in a world divided by hate and the idea of “otherness.”
Chris Washington is in a relationship with Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), who is trying to convince him to spend the weekend at her parents’ house.
Chris asks, “Do they know I’m black?” which introduces the racial tension that sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
Chris is greeted by the Armitage family with open arms and warm welcomes. He starts to get suspicious when he sees two house workers, an African American woman and man, whose movements and smiles seem robotically engineered. His few interactions with them let on that something odd is happening underneath the surface of the Armitages’ white picket fence.
A great component of the film is Chris’ best friend, Rod Williams (Lil Rel Howery), who gives the movie a lighter note. He stays in contact with Chris during his trip, and learns all about the suspiciousness of the household. His reactions and theories provide comic relief and give the audience a sense of reassurance and escape from the confining walls of the Armitage estate.
It is hard to convey the greatness of this film without giving away any spoilers, but Peele does a good job at dropping hints and some subtle foreshadowing throughout the first act.
The figure of the deer repeatedly brings the viewer back to the image of the hunter versus the prey, the powerful against the oppressed. The film breaks the illusion of a post-racial America, as it is inspired by the hard reality that equality is far from achieved.
“Get Out” fits into its genre with horror movie-like sequences, startling moments and stressful music. However, it does something that most of these films don’t: it takes an important and controversial social issue as subject matter.
The film is not scary, but unsettling. The hate held by the Armitage family towards the black community is deeply disturbing because, unfortunately, a big part of today’s society perpetuates this kind of hateful discourse.
In addition to the written and conceptual content, “Get Out” is visually and aesthetically pleasing.
Jordan Peele does a great job at offering a film, which he calls a “social thriller” that excels in almost all fronts. It goes beyond the expectations of the horror genre and offers something that challenges the conventions, while still containing typical characteristics of the genre.