Horrorible Review: “Get Out”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

Get Out movie poster

Get Out

People kept telling me I really needed to see this. By nature I’m rather stubborn about following those kinds of commands, so I very nearly didn’t put this on my queue and bump it up to the top.  It would have been a shame if that had happened, as this is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.

It’s time for Chris to go upstate and meet girlfriend Rose’s parents for the first time. They’re rich and white, and he’s a hip young black artist. He’s leery but willing, a little bemused at her naiveté. The film is all stereotypes and worn to a nub horror movie tropes which made me think at first that it was just another overhyped film. But I quickly found myself pulled firmly into a brilliant creepfest.

Writer/Director Jordan Peele uses stereotypical characters, events and conversations that everyone has encountered in their lives, much as Scream did twenty years ago with horror movie tropes. He relentlessly bombards us with everything we’ve ever seen in American racism. All of us have experienced this stuff either receiving or dishing out, or both. I know that when I was young I was amazed at times to discover how backward I could be, and learning that racism can be a product of ignorance was a large life lesson. Others never grow past willing or innocent racism. I’d be curious to discuss this movie with someone who is okay with the characters Chris encounters, because these people are not so innocent. You should find yourself cringing many times at the increasingly blatant racism that isn’t limited to Rose’s affluent white society, with even Chris at one point commenting that being around white people can be too much for him sometimes.

The film is not about the racism, though. A good horror movie will use a common fear to build a scary tale on, and Peele’s matter of fact portrayal of the familiar but typically off-limits topic cranks up the creepiness. He puts it right out there without apology or recrimination, making the viewer feel uncomfortable and off balance, then builds a beautifully made horror movie around it.  It didn’t matter how worn the horror elements were because they’re so well crafted. By worn I mean he used techniques like jump scares, the dangerous basement, and scary sounds, all of which we’ve seen a billion times before. But even old things can work beautifully. I’ve ridden in a 1938 Packard limo, and except for the door handle I accidentally ripped out, it worked great and was a fun ride. Peele also works well in subtle, like having Chris smear white all over his face (shaving cream) the morning of the fateful trip, and a deer knocking off their car’s rearview mirror. No looking back! Not everything in Get Out worked well. Peele’s twist on the mirror scare was one of the creepiest moments of the movie, especially after you realize what the character was actually doing, but his take on the no-cell-signal trope just didn’t work for me.

After you’ve watched Get Out, check out this parody trailer, and this very fast review with a “sin counter”. I didn’t agree with everything, but it’s fun.

Get Out is a finely crafted horror movie with an unusual motif, fantastic acting and perfect pacing. By the end you will be breathless and glad you watched. I’m looking forward to more movies from Jordan Peele.


Get Out – In Theaters This February – Official Trailer

CFR: In Addition: I would say that Get Out is a study in racism in our culture. Yes, you can say there is more. It is after all, a horror movie. However, I think the power of the movie is that it looks at our cultural racist tropes and beliefs. I’ll talk more about this in my own reviews.

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