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Get Out: Stay Seated

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A horror film about visiting your girlfriend’s parents sounds exactly like the type of movie you would reluctantly be dragged in to see with a bunch of people that were expecting a comedy, only to have everyone leave the parking lot pondering all the other things that could’ve been done with those two hours.

After hearing nothing but praise, however, I decided that I’d give Get Out a shot anyway.

With racial tension and bigotry still having a nice comfortable seat at the table, Get Out just didn’t seem like such a breath of fresh air to me. It felt like watching the trailer for a new Marvel movie: Maybe you don’t know the exact story, but you can certainly bet on what to expect to an uncomfortably accurate degree.

My grave mistake was having the hubris to think that knowledge and repeated exposure of a subject meant I understood it completely. This, and many other cognitive hurdles, constantly trip us up on the path to bettering ourselves. Get Out does a phenomenal job covering ancient and prima concepts without forgetting the new and sophisticated aspects of our minds, all while we peer through the keyhole of the camera.

Get Out blurs the lines of psychological thriller and outright horror, while maintaining notes of humor, romance, and actually quite deep introspective questions about consciousness. The line that writer and director Jordan Peele manages to guide the movie along is nothing short of masterful, and I have no doubt that we will see more from him in a variety of genres.

His deep understanding of cinema is impressive and clearly demonstrated by his eye for space in the camera work and timing, as well as the structure in his screenwriting. It’s been said that the amazing work of the Key & Peele team owes the success of outstanding performances more to Keegan-Michael Key and the excellence in writing comes more from Jordan Peele. It’ll be a joy to see more of these guys doing what they do best in the coming years. 

The pacing of the plot accompanied by expert sound design guides us through a carefully-constructed crescendo of absurdity grounded in a scary reality. That’s what Peele does with his comedy, that’s why he has such a grasp on the beats of horror, and that’s why I think we haven’t even seen Peele’s best writing yet, although let’s just say, so far so good.

Our protagonist, Chris, exceptionally performed by Daniel Kaluuya, is led through this hedge maze of increasingly terrifying nightmare material, but the themes it brings into question are not as heavy-handed as you may think. On the surface it’s about racism, but as you find with any endlessly-entangled concept, what everything boils down to, our minds and how we use them, were the real questions that simmer on the bottom of this film.

Don’t be an idiot like me and assume this will be a rehash of many things that are already constantly being said. If you go in expecting to experience familiar concepts that allow us to form new connections to approach a problem that we can hardly hope to ever work through completely, then you’ll get a lot out of this story. If you don’t care about any of that and just want to see some scary stuff, you’ll find plenty of disturbance to creep you out for the day.

If you’re a horror fan in general, with Forbes mentioning Split and Get Out‘s success possibly making Blumhouse the “Pixar of Horror,” and Variety calling them a modern brand name of horror, expect a resurgence in excitement over a solid horror movie experience coming out of the production house of Jordan Peele.

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