Dir: Jordan Peele
Get Out is one of those clever films that tell you everything you need to know, but you will only realise hours, maybe days later what it all means. Not one line or any scene is wasted, absolutely everything said by the characters is referenced at one time or another during the film and everything has some sort of meaning behind it. Much of the film’s symbolism is obvious, but it is the little details that make it special. Debut film director Jordan Peele was influenced initially by a line from Eddie Murphy’s infamous 1983 stand up film Eddie Murphy: Delirious where he takes about certain horror films like Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror and asks why the white characters don’t just leave when it is obvious that there is a ghost in the house. Murphy joked that if he was in a house with his wife and a ghost whispered ‘Get Out’ he would say ‘Too bad we can’t stay baby’ and run the hell out. 2017’s Get Out isn’t a supernatural film however, but it shares similar ‘haunted house’ and general horror themes. It’s also about something far scarier than ghosts, zombies, vampires and what have you, it’s about a very real monster: racism. Get Out is clearly influenced by The Stepford Wives and the original Night of the Living Dead in that it is very close to satire and it uses a fantastical scenario to explore a much deeper meaning. While it is satire, it is satire in its purist form, not outwardly funny but sly and deeply cutting. There are moments where the film goes pretty over the top, and it becomes a more recognisable comedy/horror, where it had mostly been creepy thriller. On paper this shouldn’t have worked but somehow it does and is refreshing even. The ending of the film changed dramatically from Peele’s original draft. The conclusion was to be striking and was to make more of a statement, however, because of the political climate at the time of release, Peele decided that many of the themes explored were being discussed heavily at the time and people deserved something different and little bit more upbeat. I think it was a good choice. On one hand you could say that he got lucky that his film was released at a time of great racial tension in America, but on the other you could say that he made it at a time when it was needed most. Sometimes the most important messages get through when they’re not spelled out but delivered a form of art or entertainment. One of the film’s greatest strengths is in the portrayal of the villains. The villains in the scenario are a cross section of society, and anyone, whether they be liberal or conservative, who has a problem with the way any party is represented in the film, is really part of the problem and indeed who the film is really about. It’s a pretty powerful piece when you break it down. The film is a fantasy sci-fi horror in many respects, and that might put people off (it shouldn’t) but if fear of the Atom bomb can be made into a disaster film featuring a giant Lizard, then I don’t see why Look Whose Coming to Dinner can’t be remade into a H.P. Lovecraft story. Peele’s film is in no way formulaic but it doesn’t really wander far from the usual horror/thriller structure. There are next to no clichés and the crux of the conclusion is never predictable. It feels very refreshing, for all three genres is crosses over and the theme couldn’t have been better timed. The story is ridiculous but no more ridiculous than what is happening all over the word today. It’s a fine debut from a director who has a big future ahead of him. The cast were all good but it was a brilliant surprise to see Daniel Kaluuya in the lead role. Kaluuya used to be on UK TV quite a lot, in various bizarre comedy shows. The jump is big but well deserved and he is phenomenal in his performance. With strong messages, interesting symbolism and certain memorable scenes, I believe Get Out is a future classic, a film of political and social importance and something film historians will be talking about in years to come.