Tense, gripping and deliciously, darkly oppressive, “Get Out” is a sensational directorial debut from Jordan Peele, one half of comedy duo Key and Peele.
Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is heading away for the weekend with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). Chris is worried how Rose’s parents will react to him being black, but when he arrives he gets a warm welcome. But the warmth of his reception masks something sinister. All is not what it seems at Rose’s family home and Chris may be powerless to do anything about it.
There’s a sharp, political edge to “Get Out”, enabled by a whip-smart script and a beautifully layered performance from Kaluuya. The underlying racial tension gives the movie a topical frisson but it’s in its excoriation of white liberal hypocrisy that the film makes its boldest and most successful points. Peele’s real triumph as writer/ director is to weave his trenchant social commentary seamlessly into a perfectly balanced horror thriller, embroidering genuine wit and humour into the tapestry. His background in comedy means his mastery of the technical skills of horror movie making may come as a surprise, but a very welcome one, setting up and then delivering on or subverting the expected punchlines.
Classy, cheekily seditious and deeply satisfying, “Get Out” – like “You’re Next” before it – twists the conventions to rich effect and sets a high bar for 2017 horror movies.