Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out isn’t your run-of-the-mill horror.
Hard-core aficionados expecting to find a 104-minute blood-letting will find a different film. While its opening scene has the hallmarks of classic suburban slasher Halloween, working from his own screenplay Peele playfully subverts genre conventions with a thoughtful mix of suspense, humour and social commentary.
Get Out tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young man meeting his girlfriend Rose’s parents for the first time (a terrifying prospect in itself), made more so for Chris when he asks Rose: “Do they know I’m black?” Despite proclamations that her parents “are not racist”, Chris remains skeptical, especially after discovering on arrival that her parents employ a black groundskeeper and housekeeper. “I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term,” Rose’s neurosurgeon father tells Chris, while her psychotherapist mother offers to help Chris kick smoking by way of hypnotherapy.
As their hospitality veers from awkwardness to something more unsettling, Chris finds support at the other end of the phone line from his best friend, TSA officer Rod. A slow burn, Get Out rewards viewers paying attention to the clues on offer building to the final acts reveal.
Three and a half stars