D.C.’s Take: ‘Get Out’

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Jordan Peele is one of the funniest comedians working, especially this decade. He’s known for, of course, his successful Comedy Central show “Key and Peele,” with Keegan-Michael Key, that I loved. I’ve always loved his work. But it looks like he’s taking a different turn in the industry, writing and directing his first feature film in the horror genre with “Get Out.” Could this be the film that secures Peele as a prominent and talented director? Let’s see. Get Out follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya of “Sicario”), a black man who’s been dating his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams of “Girls”) for about five months. Chris about to meet Rose’s family for the first time, with them being unaware that he’s black. Once he’s there, her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) seem totally fine with that. But something shady seems to be brewing that weekend. I tend to steer away from the horror genre, because many times the genre tropes get tired, to a point where there’s no stopping it. If you were to ask me what my least favorite genre of film is, it would probably be horror. However, some of the more recent movies, like “Don’t Breathe,” “Lights Out” and this year’s “Split,” weren’t too bad. It seemed like the genre’s gotten much better as time has passed. “Get Out” did look like it could be something different from the conventional horror movie, and turned out to be a bit of a surprise. Peele did an excellent job putting his own style into the film. It felt original; something we hadn’t seen before. You can see his personal touch. I could tell that the “Twilight Zone” episode feel is what he was going for. All the performances were outstanding. Kaluuya was fantastic  as the main character, Chris. Williams, I thought, was surprisingly good. There’s a good chemistry between herself and Kaluuya. I never watched “Girls,” but I can tell that Rose is definitely a different character from her character on that show. I want to see her do more work. Whitford, as Rose’s father, was cool; he might be a father I would like to meet. I still find him creepy, though. Keener, who I think is an underrated actress, provided a pretty unnerving scene involving hypnotherapy. The social and racial commentary sprinkled in here is well realized and relevant. The movie takes the perspective of someone who’s the only black person around and expands upon what really happens, in a smart sense. As a black person myself, there have been times where I’ve felt that way, but it sometimes never bothers me personally. The characters address things that we would expect about racism in our world today. The film also says something about interracial dating and what people might think when they see an interracial relationship. The moments where there is humor work well, and I was glad they worked. There were times it seemed forced, but that didn’t necessarily bother me. That’s partially because of Lil Rel Howery, who stole every scene he’s in. He was hilarious, and he’s the kind of comedic relief that works for a horror movie like this. The issues I had with “Get Out” were twofold. Firstly, it was a little predictable about midway through, where I saw something coming.  Secondly, it’s slow sometimes, but doesn’t want to build up the suspense when it's necessary.  Some people might not understand the tone Peele is going for when the movie tries to be scary but kind of ends up being comical. Is “Get Out” particularly scary? Not so much. There are a few times where there’s a jump scare, which is one of those issues I have with horror movies, but I wouldn’t say this is the scariest movie to come out this year. It also wasn’t over-the-top, like the trailers made it out to be. In the end, it’s like a horror version of a combination of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” and “The Stepford Wives”. Overall, “Get Out” is a dark and thought-provoking thriller that doesn’t play dumb for what it was intended to be. It has good suspense, plays on its commentary well, and it’s a pretty solid horror movie, especially coming out around this time. This is definitely one of the best films produced by Blumhouse, and Peele puts forth a great first effort for directing a theatrical film. I can’t wait to see what his next project will be. “Get Out” blends horror and comedy perfectly while providing some well realized social commentary in Jordan Peele's directorial debut. B
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