Squirming in My Seat
Most of you, no doubt, have heard the buzz around the recently released film Get Out and wondered if it lives up to the hype. Well I’m here to say it does and then some. Going into this I went totally fresh not seeing a single trailer or review. As I planted my butt into my seat, theater packed with people I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) are getting pretty serious. They decide it’s time for Chris to meet Rose’s upper class white family. Chris however is concerned that Rose never disclosed the fact that she is dating an African American. She assures him that it’s not even an issue worth mentioning and they pack for a care free weekend at their picture perfect home. However, as you might have guessed, something strange is going on and soon Chris must fight to survive.
I might sound like I’m over selling here but Get Out is without a doubt the most powerful and creepy horror film I have seen in a long time. Casual horror films use to teen slice and dices will probably not like this film. But for those of you who enjoy more elevated and cerebral fare from the genre, this is the movie for you. Peele takes the high road and pens an incredibly clever screenplay packed with tension filled horror and best of all thought provoking satire. Since it was a Jordan Peele project, I thought it might get a bit silly, but (thankfully) he reins in the jokes and uses the comedy sparingly to help balance out the heavy subject matter. And it does get heavy. In this packed viewing, I admit that I squirmed in my seat as a white guy because the film pulls zero punches in exploring racial tensions in America. I also have to admit that I didn’t like that at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it should make me uncomfortable because that’s the whole point. Much like The Stepford Wives shone a spotlight on male chauvinism in the 70s, Get Out places race relations front and center in 2017.
But what saves this film from simply stoking racial flames is its excellent writing, directing, acting, and not to mention its message - brilliantly wrapped in the guise of a horror outing. When I walked out of the viewing, I felt totally wrecked from the film’s blunt and brutal nature. Yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards. And that, my horror fiends, is the mark of a great horror film…It’s not about the bloodshed and the jump scares but about the psychological horror that creeps into your head and stays for awhile. It currently holds an impressive 99% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and I will say up front that Get Out will divide some fans, but this film has future classic written all over it. I applaud the folks at Blumhouse for taking the risk and giving us a ballsy and unflinching horror that really affected me.