Get Out: Perfect for Our Time

Get Out

Get Out is the best-reviewed movie of the year, and it’s well-deserved. Writer/director Joran Peele stretches from comedy into horror, using the genre to create a very human portrait of fear of seemingly normal people with horrible secret motivations. I don’t normally watch horror movies, but I loved this, because it had so much relevant to say (and there isn’t anything visually terrible or bloody until the end). It’s more suspenseful — what’s going on? — than full of gross scares.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is going with his girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents (Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener) for the first time. It’s clear from their home in an upstate enclave that they’re well-off, and she tells him it’s the first time she’s dated a black guy, so he’s concerned about how they’ll react, particularly when it’s revealed that they’re throwing a large garden party for their friends that weekend.

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams in Get Out

He doesn’t want to believe that anything is going on, beyond the usual racist comments that the speakers don’t know are racist. They’ve probably never interacted with a black person as a person before, so all that they see (and often comment on) is his skin color.

It’s a strong portrait of how difficult it can be to the only one of (whatever) in a setting, and it makes the effect of these kinds of microaggressions powerfully understandable to the viewer. In that way, it’s the consummate movie for this time period, with so many incidents in the news indicating just how far we are from an equal society. The plausibility of an awful conspiracy becomes more possible to him, but he doesn’t realize its scope — or effects — until it’s almost too late.

Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener in Get Out

It only becomes clear to the viewer just how much was foreshadowed elegantly by Peele on a second viewing. This is a pointed satire of how upper-class liberals think racism is a thing of the past when they’re still perpetuating it, which I think wouldn’t work so well without Peele’s comedy background informing it.

Get Out

This Blu-ray is nearly the perfect package for this movie, as you get the original planned ending, which goes in a different direction, as well as 23 minutes of deleted scenes, all with optional commentary by Peele explaining his decisions. (Half the deleted scenes demonstrate variants on what Rod (Lil Rel Howery) jokes about with Chris at the end.) Peele also provides a commentary for the film that shows you just how well-thought-out the picture is, with plenty of symbolism that makes it worth watching multiple times. It’s the first commentary I’ve listened to in a while where I stayed involved throughout.

There’s also a digital copy included with the Blu-ray; a brief (5 1/2 minutes) of “Q&A Discussion” with Peele and the cast; and a nine-minute behind-the-scenes feature, “Unveiling the Horror of Get Out“. During this, I found out Kaluuya is British! He does a good job playing an American. (The studio provided a review copy.)

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