Get Out is a combination Horror Movie, Comedy, and Documentary on American Race Relations. It sounds like an odd mix, but Get Out makes this a wonderful combination for a great movie. Producer/Director Jordan Peel has taken some old genres and mixed them together in a unique way to come up with an entirely new blend. Parts of Get Out are scary as Hell while other parts are uproariously funny. Mixed into all of this is the way Get Out makes us think about the odd sate of race relations in the United States.
Get Out stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Walsh, a young African-American with a beautiful White, wealthy girlfriend named Rose Armitage. Their life is great until they decide to leave the city and spend the weekend in the country with Rose’s parents. This is where you expect the movie to take the traditional route of having the parents be prejudice. Instead, Get Out goes in the opposite direction. Some of the funniest parts of the film are the scenes where Rose’s parents desperately try to show they are not prejudice. The father (played by Bradley Whitford) constantly talks about how much he liked Barack Obama. Then he makes things worse by trying to talk using what the middle-aged White man thinks is black slang. Rose, of course, is dying from embarrassment.
The Horror part of the film begins when Chris meets the other African Americans associated with the Armitage family. The family is very wealthy and has a black gardener (Walter) and a black maid (Georgina). Of course, Mr. Armitage points out how well Walter and Georgina are paid and that he respects them very much. Still, there is something very creepy about the two. Georgina always seems to be in a daze, and the very muscular Walter is constantly giving hostel looks to Chris.
Without giving anything away, we will say that Get Out does get very bloody and scary as it progresses. There is a reason why Walter and Georgina are so weird, and it is more frighting than can be imagined. Get Out is one of the few movies, where the audience will laugh one second and scream the next.
As the weekend gets stranger and stranger, Chris keeps calling his friend Rod in the city, to describe how weird everyone is. Rod (perfectly played by Milton “Lil Rel” Howery), is a TSA worker, and not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. He comes up with the bizarre (and totally incorrect) theory that these rich White people must have captured the African Americans in the community to make them sex slaves. His “proof” is that one young American American man in the community is married to an older White woman. Rod even goes to the police with his allegations assuming that he will be treated with respect as a “fellow law enforcement officer.” Rod is oblivious to the fact than no one in the United States has any respect for the TSA, and the police laugh him out of the building.
The acting throughout Get Out is perfect. Allison Williams is wonderful as Rose, the rich beautiful young White woman, who simply takes her privileged place in society for granted. In one scene, she is driving with Chris and accidentally hits a deer. When the police arrive at the accident the White police officer immediately asks to see Chris’ identification even though Rose had already explained that she was the driver.
Chris meekly gets his I.D. to show to the police, but then Rose steps in. She calmly refuses to let Chris show the identification to the police and explains to the police office that the police have no right whatsoever to ask to see Chris’s identification. The police officer eventually backs down. As the police officer walks away, Rose flashes a gorgeous smile and cheerily thanks the officer for his help.
To Rose, police officers are servants working for her. To Chris, police are a force to be afraid of and never to challenge. Despite the fact that this scene comes in a Horror/Comedy movie, it is one of the best examples ever on film of the different attitudes that White and African Americans have towards law enforcement officers. Allison Williams is best known for her role as Marnie on the HBO series Girls.
Get Out is not at all preachy about race relations. It is a fun Horror/Comedy film that happens to have a racial component to it. The ending of Get Out is exciting and totally unexpected. There are twists within twists and the audience was clapping at the end of the film.
- We give Get Out our highest rating of Five Stars *****
- Be sure to read all our movie reviews.
- See our essay Martin Luther King Day, The Most Racially Segregated Day Of The Year.