Comedian Jordan Peele makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a film that is not only original, but also is relatable to countless people across the world. Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams as Chris Washington and Rose Armitage, an interracial couple who are visiting the latter’s parent’s house for the weekend. Peele, otherwise known for starring in the sketch series Key and Peele, proves that he is not only a brilliant comedian, but also a brilliant film writer with the ability to take a topical issue and weave it into a truly terrifying story that manages to include symbolism, thrills, and great directing.
Chris Washington is a black photographer who has been dating a white woman named Rose. After the two have been dating for several months, they take a trip to meet Rose’s parents, Dean and Missy Armitage (played by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). Bradley and Missy meet the two at the door and treat the couple very warmly, however, there are uncomfortable moments where Dean says “my man” and speaks of deer infestation and of course, “black mold.” This is just the beginning of uneasy moments, due to the arrival of Rose’s brother, Jeremy (played by Caleb Landry Jones), who speaks to Chris about his “genetic makeup.”
The next day, the Armitage family hosts a party where many other white people attend and gawk at Chris. A professional golfer in attendance mentions Tiger Woods, a woman asks if sex really is better with a black man, and one man mentions that fair skin is slowly losing its popularity in favor of black. Ironically, everyone in attendance has some form of red clothing, whether it be neckties, pocket squares, or glasses. In contrast, Chris is wearing a blue shirt, signifying the difference between him and everyone else.
The final act of Get Out changes pace dramatically and quickly. Peele demonstrates his ability as a visual storyteller, as well as utilizing horror techniques to answer questions that the audience may have had the whole film. Peele’s use of symbolism is truly admirable, and assures his position as a respectable and reputable director. The final act ends in a way that will surprise and frighten audiences hopefully allowing them to feel the terror that many black Americans feel every day.
Aside from the brilliance of the writing and directing, the main cast is also very good. Kaluuya is an extremely likable lead, and is exactly the right pair of eyes the audience needs to see the horrific undertones of the plot. Williams provides a great supporting role that provides some very emotional moments. Whitford and Keener are also great in their roles, and are able to demonstrate their acting range as both have played extremely funny characters in the past.
Although Get Out references many other horror films such as The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby, and even thrillers like A Clockwork Orange, what you should take away from the film is not the thrills, but the message. Everyone knows at least one person like the partygoers. People who claim to be white allies, but end up alienating the race that they claim to love. They’re the people pretending to be colorblind, but by enforcing that behavior, they are actually being just as harmful as other prejudiced people. They’re the white people who are trying so hard not to be racist, they forget to treat black people as equals.
Get Out is a film that may allow a white audience to see what it’s like to be black for once. Peele’s great writing and directing allows for a film that manages to take the best aspects of other horror films, and craft it into both a funny and truly horrifying story, all the while addressing different pieces of racism. With an exceptional cast and Peele’s love for the genre, Get Out spouts a topical message that will hopefully teach others to be mindful of different cultures.