Get Out follows the story of a black man going to meet his white girlfriend’s family. A horror film ensues. This premise may seem like a tired story trope executed through a tired genre. And after having seen Peele’s last film with collaborator Keegan Michael-Key, my expectations were low. Boy was I wrong.
Daniel Kaluuya (whom you may recognize from the Black Mirror episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits’) plays Chris Washington, a photographer. He’s visiting his girlfriend Rose Armitage’s family for a weekend at their lakehouse. If the racial overtones were not yet obvious, Rose and Chris’ encounter with a police officer during their car ride to the lake house puts the topic of race front and center in the film.
Mr. and Mrs. Armitage are nothing but amicable to their new house guest upon his arrival. But, as any main character in a horror film must, Chris senses something is amiss. He can’t not notice he’s the only black man on the Armitages’ property – save for their two live-in servants – and Rose’s brother is a giant douche-canoe. In fact, at different times throughout the film I couldn’t help but notice the producers went out of the way to make sure Jeremy Armitage channeled the three main categories of douchebag; ukulele douchebag, MMA douchebag, and Lacrosse douchebag. But I digress…
I will not give away too much of the plot, as any viewer will likely have an “I see where this is going…” feeling fairly early into the film. Some major plot points are not too hard to figure out, however it stays suspenseful and compelling the whole way through. The only place the film is underwhelming is in its comic relief. This is most often delivered through Chris’ communications with his friend Rod. For who his character is, Lil Rel Howery plays Rod very well. However I feel his lines are not particularly clever or well-written, simply relying on the fact that a white audience will find him funny because he’s a loud black man. Howery certainly ads nuance and humanity to the only weak point in the film, which is why I overlook this issue.
All in all, Get Out handles tough issues through a difficult-to-get-right medium. Go see it.
And go see my fellow Indy writer’s YouTube review here