Released February 24
Get Out is unexpectedly a beautifully made movie. One of its assets is its simplicity. It was a low budget production ($4.5 million) made without elaborate special effects. Most of the shock value is created in the editing room without a lot of the ubiquitous blood and gore that dominate the horror genre. However, the film creates tremendous impact, mostly due to the skill of first time director Jordan Peele, who also wrote the screenplay – yes that Jordan Peele, of the comedy team Key and Peele. This movie has great comedic timing, which bridges the line between horror, mystery and comedy skillfully. As soon as the story starts to get a little too serious, something happens that is based on the truth yet so outlandish, that it provokes us to laugh at ourselves. I’m not surprised the film did $30.5 million box office its first weekend. The only complaint I have, if I were taking part in extreme nit picking, is that there are a couple of unnecessary plot reveals.
The performances are explosive and sensitive, from actors mostly without extensive big screen resumes. The skill of the director is felt in each character, most of which exhibit multi-level personalities. Allison Williams shows an unexpected range in her acting. Daniel Kaluuya, the son of migrants from Uganda who grew up in England, truly carries this film as a superb leading man. Caleb Landry Jones, who starred in John Boorman’s Queen and Country, is deliciously outrageous as the demented son. LilRel Howery shows great comedic skill as the unpretentious best buddy with a sharp sense of intuition. Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener and Stephen Root are perfect as the parents and their best friend. Performances to note are Marcus Henderson as the groundskeeper, Betty Gabriel as the housekeeper, and especially Lakeith Stanfield as an emotionally hijacked jazz musician.
The sound track is exceptional. The unique score might have been overwhelming in another film, yet it fits the style of Get Out completely and carries your emotions on a thrill ride. Composer Michael Ables has painted the screen with sound. Ables is the Director of Music at Santa Monica’s New Roads school. He is also a past recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, living proof of the importance of that program. I hope the new administration might take notice. Cinematographer Toby Oliver frames each shot for the most impact. Objects and landscapes take on a life all their own – a great use of the medium of cinema.
The opening scene is the epitome of the irony that is the heart of the movie. Society is turned 180 degrees. The sociological impact of the film carries a lot of weight and at the same time is easy to digest because of the horror/ comedic style. The story takes a good look at stereotyping that is rampant in our culture, yet the social justice messages are deeply and discreetly embedded in the story. Tragedy and comedy are both represented in this excellent work.
Get Out is really a gem – well worth that trip to the movie theatre.
Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. firstname.lastname@example.org. For previously published reviews see https://kwboole.wordpress.com