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Get Out movie review: an impeccable horror with a social twist

Have you ever had something reaffirm your passion?

When you’ve gotten into a groove of taking the same hikes, reading similar books, drinking the same coffee — and then suddenly one view takes your breath away, one book makes you sob, one cup of coffee reminds you this is why you love it.

This is what Get Out feels like for someone who loves film.

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut moves from strength to strength over the course of two hours, and by the end of it you’re left with the wind knocked out of you, simultaneously panicked and rejuvenated. The pounding of your heart could mean either, and it doesn’t really matter.

Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya, Black Mirror) travels out of town to meet his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams, Girls) family for the first time. The couple get blindsided by an extended family gathering, and Chris has to endure many microaggressions as the only black guest at the party — while also trying to understand why the black housekeeper and groundsman act so strangely.

The film offers biting social commentary, and, as Frederick McKindra pointed out on Buzzfeed, is one of the only films in which a black man is allowed to feel fear instead of impose it. But Get Out doesn’t only offer something for people who endure racism to relate to: it’s also a damning mirror for those too afraid to call out their own racist tendencies.

Get Out is the quintessential film for cinema lovers

As a white woman watching the film, I saw myself in some of the exaggerated utterances of the family. Often the small things people say, usually without ill-will, reflect an entrenched belief system most don’t want to acknowledge. But Chris evokes sympathy from the viewer, and Peele forces us to reflect on how our words and actions can harm even when we don’t mean them to.

Underneath the politics of the film, though, is a superbly created horror that flips the genre on its head. The pacing is immaculate, taking viewers from sheer terror to safe unease like the smoothest rollercoaster in the world. The cinematography is beautifully threatening and the performances by Kaluuya, Williams, Betty Gabriel and Lakeith Stanfield are intimidatingly good.

Better yet is a script that features realistic characters who react as the average person would. There is not a single moment that will make you scream about not going into the dark basement or towards the creepy sound. Chris is an upstanding horror protagonist who does everything how anyone in his circumstance would, and Get Out is all the more terrifying for it.

Jordan Peele proves himself as a horror director with this mind-blowing debut that mixes politics and the genre film in a way The Purge wishes it could. You’ll be lucky if you can get it out of your head any time soon.

Verdict: Get Out offers biting social commentary packed into an impeccably made horror movie that will leave your heart pounding. The pacing is perfect, the cinematography terrifying, and the performances astounding. Get Out is a milestone film in the horror genre, and if you’re interested in movies at all, it’s an absolute must-see.

Score: 9.5/10

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More