“Get Out” makes you want to stay
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Jordan Peele’s directorial debut combines social commentary with suspense, horror and mystery. “Get Out” hit theaters on Feb. 24 and made over $33 million in the box office as the number one movie on Oscars weekend.
The film centers around Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams). This couple has been together for four months and Rose is ready to bring Chris home to meet the family. It is a rocky meeting from the beginning, but Chris thinks that the parents’ strange behavior is just a way to deal with the idea that their white daughter is dating a black man. As the visit continues, however, the nervous behavior begins to give way to something much more sinister.
The writing-directing from Jordan Peele is a excellent, especially for his first time. As one of the world’s top stand-up and sketch comedians, the notion that Peele would make such a vastly different project is surprising. Peele has created a psychological thriller/mystery with elements of horror and science fiction that makes you ask the question, “what’s really going on here?” Finally with a satisfying twist near the end, all the pieces fall into place.
To lighten things up, Peele added a dash of comic relief in the form of Chris’s friend Rod Williams (Milton “Lil Rel” Howery). Rod steals the show at times with his quick wit that lets you laugh at the seriousness of Chris’s situation. More importantly, Rod’s work as a TSA agent proves to be helpful later on.
Rose’s family is an interesting group. Her father Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) is a neurosurgeon and her mother Missy (Catherine Keener) is a psychiatrist and hypnotist. With two very lucrative careers, the Armitages live comfortably in a big home and have found their way into a group of affluent friends. This circle of high society friends has some, let’s say dated, views regarding race. When they meet Chris they more than happy to center conversation around his black skin and how strong and sturdy he must be. One guest explains that, “Black is in fashion!”
Along with the strange racial undertones coming from the white guests’ conversation, Chris notices something more unsettling in the behavior of the handful of black people around. The Armitages’ groundskeeper and housemaid, as well as Logan, husband to one of the Armitage’s friends, all act in a very robotic, almost overly “white” way. Things escalate when the flash on Chris’s phone goes off while taking a photo and Logan seemingly snaps. He approaches Chris in a dazed and fearful manner yelling at him to, “Get out! Get out now!”
The film is reminiscent of the Netflix original series “Black Mirror,” in that it shows us the darkness of humanity as well as the destructive potential of technology in a mysterious and thrilling way. This is fitting, seeing as the lead actor, Daniel Kaluuya, played the lead role in “Black Mirror” season one, episode two.
The music along with the cinematography in this film combine to create an immersive experience that will have you paying close attention to the story. Certain shots are really visually pleasing, like when Missy Armitage hypnotizes Chris early on and sends him down into ‘the sunken place.’ Music is extremely important to a horror/thriller movie, and I feel that the music in the film does an awesome job of creating or relieving suspense.
All in all, “Get Out” is a great movie to watch and the U.S. is responding. Number one in the box office on opening weekend, and with critics raving, Jordan Peele’s solo directorial debut has been a success. It will be interesting to see what he decides to next, seeing as now it seems he can do everything.
If you haven’t yet, go see “Get Out” in theaters now and learn why critics and fans are so excited about it.
Ben Godfrey is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org