Most horror films are visceral affairs, encouraging a physical reaction. Get Out bucks that trend; I wasn’t grossed out, and I won’t be looking over my shoulder as I go to bed. Yet it was still a terrifyingly tense film.
There’s a constant unease throughout this horror/satire hybrid, making it hard to reconcile the fact that this is writer/director Jordan Peele’s debut with how well put together this film is. Dealing with racism and how it pervades culture is daring, but he pulls it off with aplomb.
Something is wrong here, but are you really going to make a big deal out of it?
The special thing about the aforementioned unease is how every scene is soaked in it. Most of the time it deals with someone that most of us don’t even realise we’re seeing: micro-aggressions. A comment here, an action there. Not enough to trigger anyone or really get the alarm bells ringing, but it’s there and it tugs at the back of your mind. Something is wrong, but are you really going to make a big deal out of it?
Daniel Kaluuya’s understated and realistic performance underpins the entire film. His shrugs and assurances that everything is OK say a lot. He’s had a lifetime of it, and though it isn’t right he sees no point in fighting. So he grins and bears it. As the story progresses you’ll fear for him, laugh with him, and cheer him on.
A strikingly efficient film, Get Out does so much with an idea that could be preposterous in lesser hands. It takes a good hard look at the underbelly of society, even with the supposed upper class, and shows us just how ugly it can be. That is far scarier than any boogeyman.