Get Out (2017) Review

Get Out (2017) Director: Jordan Peele

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Get Out is the fantastic directorial debut of Jordan Peele, former comedian turned film buff aficionado. The film is a psychological horror film. It tells the story of Christopher Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a Black/African American man who visits his White girlfriend’s family at their rural home in upstate New York. Strange things start happening as he cannot sleep one night and is gently put into a trance, and the next day he notices the family’s Black servants around the house, who seem to be dead inside. The next day is the extended family’s annual get-together. He tries to take picture of one of the servants and the flash seems to awaken him and he starts shouting: “Get Out.” He sends the photo to a friend who notes that they have been labeled as missing people. Chris convinces his girlfriend that they need to leave, but while packing he finds many photos of her with previous Black/African American boyfriends. Chris is attacked and hypnotized again. He awakens in the basement, tied to a chair where a video of the family grandfather explains to him that the family uses hypnosis to allow their consciousness to pass into younger and healthier bodies, in an effort to attain immortality, and Chris has been selected. Chris rips cotton stuffing out of the chair and stuff it into his ears so he cannot hear the entrancement again. When he is being taken away for surgery, Chris attacks the family one by one, burning down the operating room. He flees after killing other family members until his friend arrives in a TSA car to rescue him.

Writer-director Jordan Peele follows in Hitchcock’s footsteps with a couple cameos in his. film: he voices the sounds of a wounded deer, and he narrates a commercial featured in the film.

The film plays on American cultural fears, particularly certain strains of racial antagonism experienced in contemporary American society –hesitance and uneasiness experienced by Black/African Americans who enter into predominantly White/Caucasian spaces. One point of criticism for the film is the unflattering portrait of White people and their families as impenetrably evil and envious of healthy young Black men. Nevertheless, Get Out takes certain cultural prejudices and turns them on their heads, taking them to the extreme and what else can be asked of a good horror film? It is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner thrown into complete chaos. The feeling of safety and security, traditionally associated with upper-crust suburbs, becomes anything but safe and secure. Get Out is fresh and thrilling in ways that most modern and formulaic horror films fail to attain.

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