Peele’s Directorial Debut Is A Reason To “Get Out” Of The House And See A Movie
By Scott Kurland
Film: Get Out
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Lakeith Stanfield, LilRel Howery, and Stephen Root.
Director: Jordan Peele
Transitioning from actor to director is tough. So many variables are up in the air when you attempt to make a seamless move from performing in front of the camera to directing behind it. Do you have a vision? Do you have a story to tell? What genre are you going to tackle? That last question is the most important one because, whatever your debut film is going to be, that’s the category studios will stick you in. When you hear the name Spielberg, you think fantasy, because his debut film was actually (nope not “Jaws”) a TV movie called “Duel.” "Duel" is the story of a mack truck that chases a timid driver through the desert. The truck appears to have no driver, which means it’s alive!!! After "Duel" we got “Jaws” and “Close Encounters” and, finally, Spielberg was born. This week’s film “Get Out,” is the directorial debut from comedian Jordan Peele and boy does he make an entrance with his Social Thriller. Now, let’s find out how good it is shall we?
“Get Out” starts like any routine Drama would. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a talented African American photographer is finally going to meet the parents (Whitford & Keener) of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). At first, Chris is apprehensive as he thinks old ma and pa will be upset that their white daughter is dating a black man. On the contrary, his arrival is met with open arms and kind smiles. Yet something strange happens when Rose’s mother, a therapist, uses hypnosis on Chris to curb his smoking habit. He begins to realize all the black men and women that circle Rose’s family are acting strange, and by strange, I mean white. What started as a family drama in Chris eyes quickly transforms into a David Lynch nightmare. Will Chris be able to keep his distance from these people and eventually, “GET OUT?” Or will he become ensnared in the trap that has been set for him?
This is a very powerful film. As horror film or thriller its very strong, but it really shines as social commentary on race in America. At first glance, people might think this film is about racism...it’s not. This film is about race infatuation, and obsessing over a minority because of preconceived stereotypes. Peele’s script and direction are perfect for this genre, and it was incredibly wise of him to avoid making a comedy in his directorial debut. There’s comedic moments in “Get Out,” but for the most part, this film is deliciously scary and plays with your mind. Peele’s vision and setting of tones was crucial in making this movie work. If he rushed it, the film would have felt like it cheated the audience. If it was too slow, people would have quickly lost interest. Using Gregory Plotkin’s editing, Toby Oliver’s Cinematography, and Michael Abels’ score helped transform Peele’s flick into the opus that it is.
Peele could have easily starred in this film as the studios suggested he play the roles that were eventually given to Lakeith Stanfield or LilRel Howery. I’m glad he told them he'd rather just direct, because Stanfield and Howery are AMAZING!!! Stanfield you may know from “Atlanta” on FX, and Howery is a hidden gem of an actor who has been kicking around for some time now. Stanfield gave the better supporting performance because you see two sides of him, but I won’t spoil what those two sides are. For now, let’s get back to Kaluuya as Chris. Peele has stated from the beginning that he always wanted Daniel Kaluuya as Chris. I first saw Kaluuya on “Black Mirror,” years ago, and I was like "WHO IS THE GUY!?" Yeah, he’s that good. This is an Oscar worthy performance because he not only has to be the lead protagonist, but he’s also our point-of- view. We see this bizarre suburban nightmare through his eyes, we are just as uncomfortable as he is, but most importantly, we feel the same fear he’s feeling. Kaluuya delivers an incredible performance in this film and he’s going to have a bright future in this industry.
“Get Out” is the best film of 2017. I know we’re only three months in, but this film is incredible. I had to see it twice because I was that blown away. Jordan Peele has created a new genre with the “Social Thriller.” Technically, this is a horror film, but really it’s so much more. It’s a thriller, a satire, and most importantly, a social commentary on race relations and stereotyping. “Get Out” is a must- see film that will simultaneously frighten and entertain you. “Get Out” is breaking records at the box office for good reason. Initially, I wasn’t going to review it. However, it’s so on point with real world issues that it needs to be talked about and seen on the biggest screen possible.
REVIEW RATING: A+