‘Now you’re in the sunken place…’
It is a sad but undeniable fact that racism is not only still an issue in the Western world but also that it appears to be on the rise. Not just from ignorant shitheads but from people in power; police officers, judges, landlords etc. The arts, and cinema in general, have always been an effective way to express disgust and fear but the horror genre is not exactly known for much insightful social commentary beyond the message that teenage girls should be scythed down and chopped into pieces if they get their boobs out on camera. It is this social commentary however, that makes Get Out feel such gut punch.
British actor Daniel Kaluuya is Chris, a black guy who has understandable misgivings about meeting his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family. Chris’ worries seem to be justified when he arrives at their house and things immediately seem a little off.
American comedy writer/actor Jordan Peele was probably not the most likely candidate to direct a blistering social commentary on race relations in America but he has forced people to sit up and take notice with his directorial debut Get Out. Not only is the writing incendiary and brilliant, but the look of the film is grotesquely beautiful as well. Think Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ video but even more creepy.
Kaluuya is a revelation as the protagonist, fulfilling the potential he showed in the Black Mirror episode ‘Fifteen Million Merits’. He has an easy and believable chemistry with his co-star Allison Williams and the supporting cast all perfectly toe the line between friendly and sinister. It is difficult to discuss individual performances without giving too much away but rest assured the acting lives up to the unique vision that Peele has so carefully crafted.
There are so many horror films that have so little to say. This makes it doubly refreshing when a film like Get Out arrives and demands that people confront an issue, even if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Especially if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Jordan Peele was already at forefront of the American comedy scene, he is now a leader in the horror genre too.
If you only watch one horror film this year, make it Get Out.