Peele Crafts a Winner With His Debut Effort

Rating: 8 out of 10


Justice Reed, Film critic

With all the buzz surrounding Get Out and finally emerging from the annual awful line up of January and February movies, I highly anticipated Jordan Peele’s debut feature film. This film shows that Peele is not just a talented comedian, but a great new director/writer as well.

Get Out has more than what you’d normally expect from any other horror film. It manages to be eery, creepy, entertaining, socially relevant, fresh and hilarious throughout the film.

The acting is superb. The lead, Daniel Kaluuya, works wonders in his breakout role. He plays Chris, hitting a milestone in his relationship with Rose to meet her white parents, who don’t know he’s black. Kaluuya is believable in every scene, whether the situation offers comic relief or his life is at stake.

Not only Kaluuya, but the entire cast of actors is legitimately credible, including Allison Williams, who plays Rose, and Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford, who portray her family. None of their acting took me out of the experience.

The only problem with the acting is the yard worker, who has a goofy dialect and mannerisms when talking to Chris, but it makes sense at the end of the film, even though it is a little silly. Not only that, there is a running scene with the yard keeper that is awkward as well and doesn’t make much sense.

I also have to mention Lil Rel Howery, who plays Chris’s best friend, because he steals every scene he’s in just with his hilarity.

In a great opening sequence, the film establishes a dreadful tone, which continues mostly throughout, but there is some frequent comic relief so you can label the work as a satire as well. The film is as equally funny as it is scary. Enough so, that I wouldn’t label this movie as only a horror film, but a social thriller.

Get Out is a little slow for the first 15 to 20 minutes but that’s completely forgivable and pays off tenfold because the rest builds with tension and suspense so thick that I was anxious through the last three-fourths of the film. There are a couple of cheap jumpscares, but I was glad to finally see a horror film not filled to the brim with because they’re cheap and lazy.

The plot is nothing we haven’t seen before, but it adds enough new twists to the story and relevant social commentary about racism that it feels refreshingly original. It uses the racial commentary intelligently and is not preachy in the least. It calls out people who say, “Racism is gone,” and are utterly ridiculous and not paying attention to what’s happening in our country right now.

And the film feels as relevant as ever as it brings out the problems of prejudice that we have in society and is truly thought provoking. It has great satirical value as well; it had me laughing more than most comedy films that come out today. Obviously, it’s a great thrill ride that manages to be just as socially important as it is scary. The third act was a white knuckling conclusion that was the best part of the whole movie which had me cheering along with my crowd.

Get Out is a well constructed and intelligent social thriller that I was pleasantly surprised by. I would recommend this film to everyone who enjoys comedy and thriller films, and it has something for everyone. It’s layered with great performances from all of its cast members, and the writing and direction make the film work as it easily could’ve been messy and not mesh all of it’s content well.

Get Out proves to be a great debut from Peele and I cannot wait to see what he does next.