“Get Out” is a perfect example of how great, engaging and anxiety-inducing horror films can be when they are done with care and passion.
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is a masterpiece that doesn’t rely on crappy special effects, funhouse jump scares or cheap and dated plot twists. Instead, Peele heavily leans on the eerie performances from his no-name cast — all of which do a phenomenal job and will definitely see more roles going forward — and long mysterious set pieces where Daniel Kaluuya’s (“Black Mirror”) Chris begins to unravel what proves to be a disturbing conclusion filled with well-done social commentary.
Chris is a young African-American photographer who is dragged by his caucasian girlfriend Rose, portrayed by Allison Williams (“Girls”), to meet her parents on a weekend retreat at the family’s estate in an affluent suburb.
From the moment the two arrive and meet Rose’s parents Missy and Dean, masterfully played by Catherine Keener (“The 40-year-old Virgin”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing,” “The Cabin in the Woods”), respectively, the film never bogs down. The plot is always moving forward and Peele never shows too much until it’s needed.
That’s one of the main reasons this film works. Peele, whose rise to fame came from the brilliant buddy-comedy television show “Key & Peele,” never panders to his audience. He keeps you thinking and engaged even through the extensive aforementioned set pieces, which are — taking a guess — close to 15 minutes at times and stuffed with dialogue. But the script, which Peele penned, is good enough that these moments hit without a hiccup.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Peele film without the comedy and there’s definitely some great varying laughs to be had here. LilRel Howery plays Chris’s friend Rod and is only in the film for around 15 minutes but every time he was on screen he delivered the much-needed, everyman comic relief to ease the tension. There are also some funny-but-uncomfortable satire of stereotypical conversations between Chris and several members of the caucasian cast that serve as small visual think pieces of interactions between people of differing color.
Those of you who are sick of having politics and self-reflection shoved down your throat over the last year, don’t worry. The beauty of “Get Out” is that all of the stereotypical interracial interactions are very necessary to the plot, which builds to a brutal, honest and perfect third act.
“Get Out” is my favorite film of the year so far and easily one of my favorite horror/mystery films of all time because of the risks it takes. Much like 2011’s “The Cabin in the Woods,” this film is not afraid to do something different and not only does it blaze its own path but it does so with gravitas and confidence.
BOX OFFICE REVIEW
1. “Get Out”: $30,524,435 (Week 1); Universal.
2. “The LEGO Batman Movie”: $19,000,000 (Week 3); Warner Bros. Total Gross: $133,006,578
3. “John Wick: Chapter Two”: $9,000,000 (Week 3); Lionsgate. Total Gross: $74,412,700.
4. “The Great Wall”: $8,700,000 (Week 2); Universal. Total Gross: $34,424, 800.
5. “Fifty Shades Darker”: $7,700,400 (Week 3); Universal. Total Gross: $103,635, 615.
• “Logan” — In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
– Director: James Mangold
– Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook
• “The Shack” — A grieving man receives a mysterious, personal invitation to meet with God at a place called “The Shack.”
– Director: Stuart Hazeldine
– Cast: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell
• “Before I Fall” — Feb. 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s in danger of losing.
– Director: Ry Russo-Young
– Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu, Medalion Rahimi
• “Table 19” — Ex-maid of honor Eloise, having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway only to find herself seated with five “random” guests at the dreaded Table 19.
– Director: Jeffrey Blitz
– Stars: Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Stephen Merchant
“For the Love of Flicks” is a weekly column written by Sports Editor Tony Nunez. For comments or suggestions, email [email protected].