The biggest key to Get Out is how much thought and care and skill went into the production. Every performance is great, every scene has an ultimate purpose, and it’s shot beautifully. For his first directorial effort Jordan Peele knocked it out of the park, this is impressive filmmaking. Everyone is great but it’s Daniel Kaluuya who carries the movie; so much of it relies on just his facial reactions to what’s going on around him. I’ve seen him in a bunch of minor roles before and it’s great to see him get a starring role. The movie shifts through so many different tones: from very natural to purposefully unnervingly unnatural, nailing drama, comedy and horror along the way.
The premise sets itself up to be like what if Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner were a horror movie; with Kaluuya’s character Chris is going to meet his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. It’s also a more modern take on that; dealing more with the tenor and language of racism that comes from ignorant white people who wouldn’t think of themselves as racist but are unable to talk to a Black person like a human being.
What’s great about Get Out is that while that stuff works and hits home (Again a lot of that has to do with Kaluuya’s reactions) it’s also all kind of a mask and distraction from what’s really going on. As it sets everything up for the early acts, the movie is also working on a whole other level, in a way that pays off every previous scene, particularly the ones that initially seem unimportant.
Because of that it’s hard to say too much more without digging into spoilers, which I won’t do here.
I honestly think comedy and horror have a lot in common for the work under the hood that makes them effective so I don’t think this was as big a leap for Peele as it might seem. (Although just how impressive the filmmaking here is still kinda stunning considering this is his first directorial effort.) But I do also think it’s key to this movie how good the straight comedic parts are. In particular the scenes with LilRel Howery, playing Chris’s best friend and serves as the audience surrogate for saying “Dude, you’re in a fucking horror movie!” are really funny.
So yeah, this is a really good horror movie. It starts a little slow (Like many great horror movie), and I think it overdoes it a bit with musical stingers, but the payoff is worth it and the overall quality is real high. It’s just a great movie.