Monday 15 January 2018

Get Out - Jordan Peele

Get Out - Jordan Peele

It's not often that films click with the zeitgeist as completely as Get Out fits with 2017. Its satire of racism is frightening not only for director Jordan Peele's embracing of horror tropes, but for its shocking plausibility.

What's so clever about the film is that its premise is so simple: white girl takes her black boyfriend home to meet her parents and horror ensues. It plays on an obvious fear that we've all had at one point or another, but by placing race at the centre of the story it holds a mirror to society. We may get freaked out by the behaviour shown in the film, but once the credits fade and the lights come up this is everyday life for far too many black members of society.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is victim to plentiful moments of casual racism as characters question his body frame, his virility, his sense of cool. It's a biting critique of the ignorance of middle America and Peele directs the scenes with expert timing. The atmosphere slowly morphs from homely warmth to bizarre, the acting is just the wrong side of strange, and creeping anxiety gradually takes hold. The film keeps you on your toes throughout, uncertain of who to trust. And in doing so, it puts us all in the shoes of a victim.

Equally, the film is pulpy and cartoonish fantasy. The film eventually descends into schlocky horror chaos, its twists predictable, its final scenes bordering on silly. When the opening is so sincere and believable while simultaneously tapping into familiar horror tropes, it's almost disappointing that the film ends with such cartoon violence.

But that's the final trick. The film draws us in with its pop culture and its palatable horror. Yet once the blood splatters have dripped their last, we're left with a horrifying vision of our own reality that scares more than cinema ever could.


Watch: Get Out is out now.