Amazingly, I managed to head into Get Out having not even seen the trailer. It had been appearing more and more frequently on my news feeds recently, usually accompanied by a lot of positive buzz, and usually featuring an image of lead character Chris, wide eyed and terrified, with a tear running down his cheek (note that I’ve continued this trend with my review!). Described as a racial satire/horror it just didn’t really feature high on my watch list, but I booked a ticket to go see it, wanting to see what all the buzz was about. I’m kind of glad that I went in relatively blind as to what to expect though, as I was absolutely blown away by it.
Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, a young black man dating a white girl called Rose (Allison Williams). He’s preparing to go and meet her parents for the first time but he’s a bit unsure as to what they’re going to think about him, despite Rose assuring him that he’s got nothing to worry about. When they arrive at the huge house out in the country, her parents really are fine with Chris. And they take every opportunity during their conversations to be positive about race and to assure Chris that they’re fine with him too, to the point where Chris (and us) begin to feel a little bit uneasy. This unease isn’t helped by the fact that there are two black servants in the house, neither of whom have very much to say and both acting very strangely. At night, the housekeeper wanders quietly around the house while the groundsman sprints around outside in the dark!
Paranoia and tension continues when a large group of family friends arrives for a party and they all seem very keen to get to know Chris and bond with him. One of the guests even has a black ‘companion’ who is also acting strangely. Despite the assurances from all, things definitely are not OK…
Of the little I read about Get Out beforehand, one of the reviews that stuck with me most described it a little bit like From Dusk Til Dawn in the way that everything suddenly all goes to shit in a hugely enjoyable and unexpected twist. There are definitely no vampires or anything similar in this movie, but I felt that it was a pretty good comparison. The movie spends a long time putting you on the edge of your seat, building up the tension, providing plenty of food for thought on modern day racism and adding the odd bit of welcome comedy relief from Chris’ friend on the end of the phone trying to support him. It’s all hugely enjoyable and even though you can guess pretty early on what’s going on, it’s all still hugely satisfying when the truth finally is revealed and the violence and action take over.