It seems like everybody and their mother is talking about the latest film from comedian Jordan Peele: Get Out. Being a film student, as well as seeing the mass amount of critical acclaim it has received, I just had to give the film a watch. While I don't think it's a perfect film (99% on Rotten Tomatoes is far too high of a score in my eyes), the final third of the film made me squirm in my seat from the tension I felt for the main character, which is exactly what I wanted.
Get Out is in theaters now.
Plot & Writing
Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, an African-American man who is dating Rose, a white woman. After dating for five months, Rose decides to take Chris to meet her parents. But Chris notices that something is not quite right with this family and their friends. The plot is fairly simple, but like every great plot before it, it evolves into having much grander stakes.
Overall I thought the plot of Get Out was solid. I did feel that in needed some touching up in the first half of the film though. In a story like this, you need to find a way to build up suspicion and tension in a non-cheap way. Get Out does this in its stellar second half, but the only kind of scares and tension you feel in it's first 40-60 minutes are brought on by a loud burst of jump-scare music. For someone who watches movies as often as I do, this was not very effective and felt very cheap.
The dialogue is also very solid. The writing alone is actually pretty brilliant at times, but some of the performances bring it down. I'm not sure if it was on purpose or not, but some characters overact so much that it can make you laugh. I won't tell you which characters do this, but you'll probably know when you see the film. I also found it odd how every white person in this film is depicted as evil. It's a nitpick, but I did find that decision was not the smartest in these racially sensitive times.
The characters themselves are very well written. Most performances are great from the main cast, but as mentioned some of the side characters overact and just become laughable. But the main family that Chris interacts with is perfect for the tone that Jordan Peele created with his great direction and writing.
Get Out is very competently shot. While the cinematography didn't wow me like Birdman (2014) or La La Land (2016), it is a very pretty movie that takes advantage of natural lighting but also lets the dim lights of lamps and old light bulbs surround the characters in tension and unease.
The film frames characters very well, often showing how Chris feels in certain environments by just showing how he perceives the people he's talking to all through camera angles and framing alone. The color palette here is actually pretty colorful in the beginning and devolves into grimmer, ugly colors as "the shit hits the fan". Peele was able to subtly create tension through how we see the film in addition to whatever the characters are doing onscreen, which is movie magic.
Editing & Sound
There's not a lot of CGI effects in Get Out, but the editing is still very solid. Thanks to Jordan Peele's comedic background, comedic relief scenes have a great fast pace to them and are edited together to help compliment that. Action scenes cut back and forth between different actions that the characters are doing (or trying to do) which helps add on to the tension of the scene.
There are moments where Chris will be remembering something that happened in the past, so the editor puts in quick shots of what Chris is thinking about. Sometimes this works, but it happens a little more often than I think it should have. By the second or third time you see this used you'll wish that they thought of something a little more clever. There's also a few sequences that are very CGI heavy. I don't want to spoil what these sequences are, but it feels very unnecessary to have all of this CGI when the filmmakers could have found a different (and cheaper) way to accomplish the same feeling.
Music is also used effectively in Get Out. Some scenes I felt could do without the stereotypical "tense music", but it's mostly used well. Sound here is also great. Nothing ever stuck me as an unrealistic or delayed sound. The sound mixing was also spot on as nothing ever seemed louder or softer as it should have been.
Get Out is very solid and enjoyable film. While the first half tends to drag and fail to create great tension, the latter half turns up the tension and quality up significantly. Everything here is solid aside from some odd editing choices and some shaky performances by the supporting cast. Overall though, for a film that has come out relatively early in 2017, Get Out deserves to be seen on the big screen.
|+ Solid writing and plot||– Some shaky performances|
|+ Pretty and scary cinematography||– Odd editing choices|
|+ Intense final act||– Slow first half|
|+ Good sound design & mixing|