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Review: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ is a horror comedy mash-up full of laughs, screams and sharp social commentary

Review: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ is a horror comedy mash-up full of laughs, screams and sharp social commentary
Universal Pictures

Very few movies achieve the coveted honor of a 100 percent score on movie review website Rotten Tomatoes. The site gives movies a percentage rating from 0 to 100 based on how many critics give the film a fresh (positive) or rotten (negative) review.

Scoring a perfect 100 is incredibly rare for a movie of any genre, let alone a comedy, a horror film or even the more impossible comedy/horror hybrid. However, writer and director Jordan Peele from “Key and Peele” has achieved this almost impossible task with his new comedy/horror thriller “Get Out.”

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The film, which sits at a current 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) as they take a weekend trip to see Rose’s well-to-do parents for the weekend. Chris expresses concern when finding out Rose has not informed her parents that he is black, but Rose tells him simply not to worry, saying “My dad totally would have voted for Obama for a third term if he could have.”

The film quickly begins to unfold from there, as Chris begins to discover that something is not quite right in this seemingly perfect household after an unsettling experience with Rose’s mother when she tricks Chris into getting hypnotized using her skills as a psychiatrist.

via GIPHY

After Chris notices incredibly bizarre behavior from the only other two black people in the house, groundskeeper Walter and maid Georgina, he knows that he has gone somewhere he truly does not belong and therefore begins to investigate, slowly beginning to uncover a truth far more terrifying than even meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time.

At first, viewers might not quite know what to make of this movie. It was written and directed by Peele, so it must be a comedy, right? But it also seems pretty horrific at times, so is it a horror movie? In reality, it is both of those but ultimately operates as more of a social and psychological thriller filled with biting social satire and trenchant racial commentary.

It calls attention to many racial issues still prevalent in society today, and Peele finds his own uniquely creative way to explore the issues on his mind. After all, isn’t that exactly what art is supposed to do? Because of this, the film may start a conversation among viewers, but there are a variety of ways in which this conversation can go.

Beyond race, the movie also contains themes of isolation and that strange, uneasy sense of dread that begins to slowly settle in when you realize you are an outsider; that feeling when you are in a place where you simply do not belong. Peele masterfully builds this sense of dread throughout the film. The tension builds in a slow, suspenseful way that makes it hard to believe this is only Peele’s first time directing a feature-length film.

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The film definitely pays homage to certain horror films of the past but ultimately feels very fresh and new, with twists and turns very difficult to predict. Maybe this is the reason the film has been so positively received by critics, but who can say for sure.

Kaluuya does a decent enough job as Chris in the lead role, but he is not particularly captivating. His performance and presence on the screen become more or less forgettable, so Peele probably could have done a slightly better job casting for the lead role. The rest of the acting picks seem solid and work well in the movie. Kaluuya still pulls through though and gives an incredibly decent enough performance. He will not win any awards, but the overall film might.

via GIPHY

“Get Out” is a funny, thrilling, scary, surprising genre mash-up that takes ingredients from past films combined with timely social commentary to deliver something that may not be to every viewer’s liking, but that still feels new and very unique. After all, you can’t argue with a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score.

Grade: B+


Follow Alec Kuehnle on Twitter.


  

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