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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: Get Out

Director: Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Year: 2017

Seldom does a debutant director create a movie so successful as Jordan Peele (“Us”) with “Get Out”. In recent times in the horror genre, only Ari Aster with “Hereditary” comes to mind, who like Peele, has been able to accomplish this. However, Peele with “Get Out” had some additional accolades that put him above other directors, like winning an Oscar, having been nominated three others, and being the first black director in surpassing $100,000 in its release weekend. Knowing these details what’s left to know is if “Get Out” is really at this level or if it’s overrated. Unlike what Peele does in this movie, I will not keep the suspense until the end and say know that it does live up to its expectations.

Chris and Rose have been dating for a while when Rose invites him to meet her parents. Chris agrees, but worries about spending time with a white privilege family, he being a black man. Rose doesn’t give much importance to this and assures him that this will not be a problem. On their arrival to her parents’ house, the treatment towards him is so attentive that it gets to be uncomfortable and the robotic behavior of the house employees, both black people, doesn’t help Chris to avoid feeling that something is wrong, especially after he gets to know that Rose’s mother practices hypnotism. Things go for the worst when they throw a party where all those invited are white privilege people and all seem to be paying too much attention to Chris.

One of the principal topics of “Get Out” is racism, which also serves as social criticism about how this issue is lived in the United States. In this case, racism isn’t open and punchy but subtle, where they make you think that skin color has no importance, but the body language shows they feel superior. This reaches its peak in the family party, where everybody has a comment about living as a black person and the genetic predisposition of being stronger and even about sexuality (you know what I mean).

Initially, this whole party is uncomfortable for Chris and we share this feeling thanks to the excellent interpretation of Daniel Kaluuya (“Black Panther”), nominates to an Oscar as the best main actor. Beyond the subtle (and not so subtle) racist commentary, there is something much more dangerous behind all this; an idea inspired on the premise of “The Stepford Wives”. In this exchange and in the rest of the movie, Peele makes sure of filling it with symbology and details about racism, so much so that you will need to watch it more than once to be able to catch most of it. Without a doubt, this ingenious way of making his main topic ever-present is one of the things that put him closer to the Oscar he won for his screenplay.

On top of the interesting story, Peele puts the icing on the cake with his impressive ability as a director, which got him an Oscar nomination as best director. If Kaluuya makes a great interpretation is in part thanks to the director, which gets the most out of his cast, also shown through the excellent performance of Allison Williams (“The Perfection”) as Rose and the rest of the cast. All this is complemented with great composition and excellent soundtrack, both with an important background message, that together makes the movie move with a steady rhythm and captures the viewer from the beginning to the end.

In a movie so well-crafted as this one it’s hard to find details that it does wrong and what a person can like or dislike, is a thing of personal taste. Viewers that don’t enjoy comedy in horror movies can feel that the comedy parts affect the tone of the movie. If this is not something you dislike, you will see it as a great addition that, besides being well done and being very funny thanks to the presence of Lil Rel Howery (“Bird Box”) as comedic relief, it serves as a breather from all the tension in the plot.

“Get Out” is one of the best crafted and balanced movies I have seen in contemporary horror cinema. Every nomination and even winning an Oscar talks about the quality of this movie, especially being in the horror genre (although it is more of a thriller) where it is notoriously hard to win one of these awards, as what happened for example with Ari Aster and Toni Collette in “Hereditary” (yes, I will continue to complain about this). After watching it I can assure that most people, particularly horror movie fans, instead of thinking this is an overrated movie, will not believe how it is possible that it didn’t win the rest of the awards for which it was nominated.

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