Terror Runs Skin Deep: GET OUT (2017) Review

A young black man named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) goes home with this white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her rich, posh family. To his dismay, Rose hasn’t informed her family that he’s white. With that already on his mind he feels nervous. When he meets the family, things start out well-enough, but as the visit furthers and he meets friends of the family, and the unusual family helpers (also black), Chris begins to realize something isn’t right.

I was skeptical of Get Out at first upon seeing the trailers, it caught my attention for sure with how bizarre and weird it was. Though I couldn’t help but think that this was going to be an anti-white/racial film disguised as a horror film. I realize some may not have seen it this way, but that’s just me. That aside, the final result of the movie isn’t anything like the trailer. So major props to that. It only gives a slight idea what the film is about and the film goes a lot farther than that. So the fact that it didn’t linger on the racial themes and beat us over the head with it was a major relief. The racial elements are there but not don’t completely take over the film. I will say that the reveal of the motives for the family is really weird and farfetched, but it’s an idea that’s easy enough to roll with. It’s definitely an original horror film that’s for sure. The flow of the film is really solid in how it begins light-hearted enough, but you gradually become just as uncomfortable as Chris and become more and more unsettled until the completely bonkers final act when all hell breaks loose. Some of the tension is lessened with some of the phone calls Chris makes to his friends back home who works for the TSA who has theories of his own. These moments have just the right amount of comedy to elicit laughs and then the horror pulls you right back in. It’s even better that the friendship between the two feels real. The character of Chris is also really likable, so you are really rooting for him the whole time.

It’s clear the film is having fun with itself, the very few jump scares it has are the cheap ones, but it’s aware how silly they are. But to add more suspense to the film is the excellent and creepy score that lingers through the film and adds to the uneasiness of it. What it also does well is how it makes you think you have a grasp of where the film is going but then it takes some turns and goes somewhere else. Daniel Kaluuya provides an excellent breakthrough performance as Chris as the very rare male lead, and even more rare is the fact that he’s a male lead that’s likable and someone to root for. Even in moments where Chris shows a vulnerable side, Kaluuya conveys very rich and genuine emotions. When you think about it, the components I just mentioned are a rare find for a lead male in a horror film. He’s portrayed as some sexy, CW tough guy, he comes off as real and like your average lead. Allison Williams does fine with the role as Rose, she’s pretty basic, even in the end when everything gets crazy, but she’s far from bad. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener star as Rose’s parents and both knock it out of the park. Most especially Keener in her one-on-one scenes with Chris as she psychoanalyzes and hypnotizes him. They have this way of making you feel so unsettled and that helps you get put in Chris’ shoes. LilRel Howery plays Chris’ friend Rod who provides much of the comic relief of the movie, but instead of being just the comic relief for the movie he does show concern for his friend when necessary and actually does something to try and help him find out what’s going on.

While I didn’t love Get Out nearly as much as most do (it’s not worth 100% in my opinion on Rotten Tomatoes), but it is a well-done and fresh horror film that offers something new to the genre in terms of how things flow, emotions, the portrayal of the male lead, and great acting.

-Cody Landman