This film had so much pressure and expectation on it, and I partly blame the date delay from the USA to Australia in setting expectations ridiculously high and then bringing us all back down with what I considered to be an underwhelming film with so-so performances and an over-hyped marketing campaign that failed to deliver the frights that a typical horror movie should.
The film follows boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) who are preparing to meet Rose’s parents for the first time as a couple. They seem like your typical couple, they cook dinner together, they laugh as they discuss any concerns that Rose’s parents may have as she is dating a black man, with the response “They would have voted for Obama for a third term if they could”
The couple arrive and the narrative shifts to show the film through Chris’s eyes as the perceptions change and after a huge family party the film reaches its peak as familiar comments and tropes play out. The conversations that happen between Chris and the other party guests are ones you have all heard before. They are uncomfortable to watch and were among my favourite in the movie. They are well told and coming from a different perspective deliver the best scenes that the film had to offer.
What follows from here are jump scares and a Stepford Wives-esque plot that needed a lot more work to be coherent. The first hour of the film is so strong and in your face, it was a shame that the second half of the movie didn’t work too well. The usual level of scares and horror from a film like this didn’t follow and this is why in my opinion it was a let down.
The filmmakers do a great job of explaining the narrative of being black is a nightmare, and this is something that for white Australian audiences is an eye-opener. It is also a great allegory of our own native aboriginals and what they must experience every day and for this the film is a masterpiece.
Performance wise the cast are perfect. Kaluuya is perfect as the lead and really engages with the content. Williams plays the girlfriend part beautifully. Her love of her new relationship balanced with her dedication to her family plays out well and she delivers it flawlessly. Her families performances, particularly Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) as a trained hypnotist and mastermind murderer are beautiful. She never flinches and there is so much more behind her eyes that adds to her mystery and motive as the plot unfolds. Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) is the most transparent of his distaste of black men and the boyfriends that Rose likes to bring home.
Get Out is a great attempt at a racially powered horror movie, although more racial than horror, the film does send an overwhelmingly strong message with outstanding performances from all on screen. Horror wise the film offers a little more than a few jump scares that didn’t really do enough to be effective.
Get Out is in cinemas now