So ‘Get Out’ is one of those films that seems to have come from nowhere and is currently receiving rave reviews from critics and our American cousins across the pond. So, is this thriller/horror worth its weight in gold? Having just watched it, I can’t help but feel this film, built on its uneasy racial tensions where it explores issues like slavery and paranoia, is more narratively accurate for the state of America right now compared to the rest of the world.
‘Get Out’ follows the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) who’s invited to his girlfriend’s parent’s house for the first time. Worried they may not accept him as a black guy in a white neighbourhood, he travels to their house for the weekend where he quickly discovers things aren’t what they seem. With a thin layer of foreshadowing and a lot of racial tension early on, the film builds very well to its explosive, albeit rapid, finale.
The concerns that the family may not accept his race, being a black guy visiting a white family, just doesn’t seem like such a big deal here in Britain and as such might actually alienate some viewers. So whilst the film is doing very well domestically in the US, I’m not sure how well this will do overseas with such an alien concept to those of us that just don’t see race as such a big divide. Having said that, the film’s story plays on this theme very well with some genuinely creepy scenes that make up for its overbearing play on inequality and racism. Whilst ‘Get Out’ is never a horror per se, it plays more like a thriller and viewing it as such makes it far more appealing.
Chris is the stand out here amongst a very average cast of actors and his emotion really drives the film forward. There’s some great camera work as well toward the latter end of the film and although the film builds nicely for a solid hour or so, the ending just feels a bit rushed. There’s a nice twist here as well which I didn’t see coming and the surprising inclusion of some humour contrasts well with the serious tone of the film, giving some light reliefs of tension in an otherwise suspenseful thriller. As a nitpick I think they did overdo the humour a little too much, in stereotypical “incredulous black guy” way which, although coming off as natural, did disjoint a little from the film’s narrative about racism.
Having said all of that, ‘Get Out’ is actually a decent thriller. It builds nicely, there’s some good characterisation here and despite tiny plot holes which I won’t disclose here for spoiler purposes, it’s actually a solid film and one of the best thrillers released this month. It doesn’t ever reach the psychological horror level of say ‘It Follows’, ‘Get Out’ plays to its strengths to provide a solid thriller well worth watching.