Looking Back At GET OUT - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Looking Back At GET OUT

Martin Rayburn visits the sunken place.
In 2017, Jordan Peel was best known as one half of the comedy duo Key & Peele. When I first heard the news that he'd written and directed a horror film, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little surprised. It's Peel's background that made Get Out the success it was, because the film wears its satirical nature on its sleeve and provides the right amount of humour to not offset the horror and leave the film a parody of the genre. It also helps that, in his directorial debut, Peele populated his cast with a fine selection of new and seasoned actors.

The premise off the film sees photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) off to visit Rose's parents, Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener), for the weekend. It's the first trip home, where mom & dad and boyfriend will meet for the very first time. That can be nerve-wracking enough, but Chris has additional concerns that his white girlfriend Rose hasn't told her parents she's dating a black man. Despite attempting to calm his nerves with claims that Obama is her dad's favourite president, and a whole host of other anti-racist rhetoric and actions, Chris still has doubts. These are quickly compounded by Rose's parents weird behaviour from the very off, and the odd-kilter interactions with their black gardener and house maid.

Revisiting Get Out five years on, and knowing the twist in advance, does not take as much away from the film as I'd feared. It still works well as both a psychological and satirical horror, thanks in no small part to Peele's imaginative script which brings us something quite unique within the genre. As well as being genuinely creepy, Get Out also has some hilarious moments up its sleeve. It's Peele's background as a comedian that comes into great use to blend the satire so perfectly with the horror. It's seamless, and leaves the audience in the palm of Peele's hand. Lapping up scene after scene.

Yes, Get Out is ripe with social commentary but not so that it distracts from the plot at all. If you've seen it before, you're still mesmorised with what is happening. If you're coming in fresh, then it keeps you on your toes, wondering where the film will turn next, which is of course one of the most important aspects of any horror film. Also, Peele's directorial confidence is present right from the opening sequence, it feels as if you are watching a film from a seasoned director and not a man making his debut picture, and that confidence grows more and more as the film rises through the levels of paranoia.

Peele's confidence as a filmmaker is seen further through Toby Oliver's swift cinematography, akin to work seen in The Shining, and both Michael Abels haunting score and songs picked by Peele to accompany his twisted vision.

As for the cast, Get Out excels above many horror films with genuine talent. Daniel Kaluuya leads the film with a quite exceptional performance as Chris Washington, impressing with each passing minute as the paranoia within his character grows. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are both devilishly charming and unnerving with their performances as Rose's parents, who take an immediate interest in Chris' life, both past and present. Get Out gets perhaps it's most truly unsettling performances from both Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson as Georgina and Walter, hired by Dean's father. They each have they're own stand-out scene where it becomes clear that all is not well with either them or the house they tend to. Lil Rel Howery deserves a mention too for being genuinely funny in the role of Chris' best friend, Rod, who doesn't just feel like the comedy relief shoehorned in for the sake of it. As well as getting the best line of the film.

It might not be a flat out gore fest (although there's gore) and it might not be a movie riddled with jump scares (although they're in there too) but Get Out is easily one of the best horror movies of the last decade. Peele would of course follow this debut up with Us and Nope, both are also horrors that act as social commentaries (Nope possibly the most, and to its detriment), but for my money Get Out takes first place - no doubt that's a position Roman Armitage would be pleased with.

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