Get Out: A Sharp Blend of Horror and Satire
March 27, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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Awkward situations are always difficult, but they are nothing compared to the sheer insanity that unfolds during a single visit to the main character’s’ girlfriend in Get Out. Directed by Jordan Peele, Get Out deftly mixes satire and horror, along with memorable characters, to create a standout film that is about more than just scaring the audience.
Chris Washington, an African-American man, has a white girlfriend named Rose Armitage. Despite being warned by his TSA-agent friend, he knows that he’ll eventually have to meet Rose’s parents as the relationship progresses. After agreeing to meet Rose’s family, the feeling of uneasiness immediately ensues. Chris finds something a bit odd about the Armitage’s. He chalks this up to them being uncomfortable about his race, as Rose had not told her parents that Chris was black. However, as time goes on, a more sinister plot is revealed.
Although this movie still checks many of the average horror movie boxes, Get Out ultimately succeeds in creating an unsettling atmosphere of dread, humor, and social commentary. The intensity of Get Out not only comes from suspenseful, but from the eerie atmosphere that is built up slowly throughout the movie. From the very start, Chris seems so out-of-place it almost hurts to watch. A plethora of white people line up to make subtly racist comments about him, and this continues for the first half of the movie. It certainly sets an unnerving tone and acts as a social commentary for how racism is still present in society today.
The second half, however, is where the horror aspect of Get Out comes into play. The film takes all of the unease it has been building up and finishes with a climactic and exciting final act. Events and actions of the characters get less subtle, giving way to a disturbing and intense thrill-ride. Get Out features very strong characters, along with great performances from all of the actors involved. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris, does an excellent job of portraying discomfort. Chris’s TSA friend, played by LilRel Howery, gives much-needed and hilarious advice to Chris over the phone. Dean and Missy, Rose’s parents, both hide their discomfort with a thin veil of forced politeness and awkward cordiality. Both actors do this very well. Other supporting and peripheral characters make this film’s conversations and interactions a pleasure to watch.
Meeting your girlfriend’s parents has the potential to be a stressful and awkward ordeal. This, compounded by the racial tension displayed during the movie, could almost be a horror movie by itself. This is the genius of this movie. It tackles everyday racism in a seemingly realistic way, before taking a worst-case scenario turn into a horror movie. Thus, Get Out succeeds as a horror movie, a satire, and a social commentary, all at the same time.
Director: Jordan Peele
Run Time: 1hr 43 min