GET OUT (2017)

GET OUT (2017)
a review by Steve Van Samson


For a change, the hype was not only proportionate but unabashedly deserved.

As a massive fan of all things horror, I have something to get off my chest. No matter how disturbing a film or book may be, such things simply do not frighten me. Not ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see things and recognize them as being effective–but it’s in the same way I can look at a super handsome/stud-muffin type guy. I mean… I get it. The qualities are all there. They just don’t affect me in that way.

When watching even a really great horror flick, the best I can really hope for (beyond the whole entertainment thing) is a general feeling of unease, or perhaps a slight tightening of the nerves. That said, the proximity of my butt, to the edge of the seat is generally closer when:

A.) I actually care about the character’s well being.


B.) I legitimately don’t know what’s going to happen next.

GET OUT (2017) Accomplishes both of these things and so much more. The film presents an original, well paced story which gleefully plays on very real, racial fears which persist in our civilized society, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. The almost xenophobic concept of a black man being whisked away by his white girlfriend–to meet not only her rich white family, but all of their rich white friends, might be a strong enough concept for a solid drama. One that breaks through racial borders and depicts the triumph of the human soul. That sort of thing.

Fortunately, your captain for this voyage is one, Mr. Jordan Peele.

As a fan of his acclaimed series KEY AND PEELE (2012), I think it’s fair to state that the man always had a flair for the unsettling. While truly funny, Peele always seemed to know how to get under his audience’s skin in ways they simply weren’t expecting.¬†One needs look no further than the positively haunting “Make-A-Wish” sketch for proof of that. Unlike many directors, he possesses a deep understanding of the tools in his director’s toolbox and exactly what each one of them does.

The acting here is fantastic as well. Daniel Kaluuya does a fine job in the lead role of nice guy/photographer, Chris Washington. I instantly recognized Daniel from his unforgettable BLACK MIRROR (2011) episode: Fifteen Million Merits, and was just as quickly shocked to hear the Englishman speak in what could only be called a flawless American accent. Allison Williams is equally great as Chris’ loving girlfriend, Rose. Rounding out the cast, we have Catherine Keener (THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, 2005) and the always fantastic Bradley Whitford–who, by the way, has officially made a fan of this writer, since starring in two of the most original and enjoyable horror flicks of the past decade (the other one being THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, 2012).

The important thing to remember about GET OUT (2017) is, the less you know, the better. There are few enough films that truly surprise, these days and this is one of the best in recent memory. It builds terror slowly and by degrees, making the viewer feel more than a little claustrophobic before crossing that line into to true, numbing  terror.

Did this film scare the crap out of me? No, they never do. But I happily admit, GET OUT (2017) had my hackles up. Sure, I paid for my entire seat… but I only needed the edge.

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One thought on “GET OUT (2017)”

  1. 100% agree, man! This movie gave me hope for the future of thrillers, as it really embraces a key element in writing hem: what you think could be a bad time, might be infinitely worse than that. Terrible for the characters, but great for us!

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