Get Out is a seriously potent thriller/horror pic from writer/director Jordan Peele. It is an ambitious and sometimes uneven affair, with a tone that veers from cool character studying to shrieking comedy to violent social commentary to out-and-out terror.
When it works though, it really works, and the cast is very fine, with unfamiliar star Daniel Kaluuya delivering a performance of great charisma and ballsy intensity.
Kaluuya is Chris Washington, a photographer whose girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams from TV’s Girls) has convinced him to join her for a weekend with her moneyed parents in their fancy and isolated (naturally) home. It’s a big step in their relationship and Chris is uneasy as he fears that Rose hasn’t told them that he’s black, but Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford) welcome him with open arms, and for a while he’s mostly comfortable.
However, Chris becomes increasingly aware that something strange is, of course, afoot, what with the peculiar behaviour of the Armitages’ staff and some family friends, to the aggression of Rose’s slightly psycho brother Jeremy (scary Caleb Landry Jones). Peele certainly knows how to turn the psychodramatic screws, and soon the rug is well and truly pulled out from under your (and Chris’s) feet.
The director shows his MADtv comic roots here with the foul-mouthed phone conversations between Chris and his bestie Rod (Lil Rel Howery), and while there are a few too many of them, they’re pretty funny anyway, and Howery eventually becomes a stand-in for the audience as he realises something’s very wrong.
Perhaps the biggest surprise here isn’t actually anything onscreen: it’s the fact that this low-budget, name-star-free, unusually intelligent horror movie has proven a major hit in the US. Get Out indeed.
Rated MA. Get Out is in cinemas now