Someone told me about this movie, so I went online to see what the Internet thought (funny how that’s a thing; I need the opinion of strangers to judge the opinion of someone I know in real life), and the consensus seemed to be that Get Out was a great movie blending horror and comedy, with a witty and clever script.
The premise of the movie is that a black man goes to visit his white girlfriend’s parents. In the beginning it feels like a normal rom-com where our protagonist is nervous about the meeting, especially since she hasn’t even told her parents he’s black. But after arriving at the estate, things are not as they seem, with events ramping up steadily from “how quaint” to “that’s weird” to “wtf” to “GET OUT”.
After finally watching the movie, my initial impression can be summed up in one word: overhyped. The movie most definitely is not terrible, but I was expecting something more after hearing and reading nothing but good things. This review will talk about the good, the bad, and why I think the film was overhyped. There will be spoilers.
This film is a social commentary about race relations in today’s society. The good thing about this is that it neither condemns or defends anything. Though it portrays some of the hardships of being a black man in a normal society (ranging from annoying to disrespectful), the film is clearly not trying to blame anyone or anything. Our protagonist, Chris, is just living his life, and finds himself in a messed up, and somewhat supernatural, situation. Because the film didn’t try to force its morality on me, I found myself being engaged with the story more directly, which is what a movie should always prioritize: immerse the audience. This film is smart; it knows its audience and knows what it wants to say. When you treat your audience with respect, you will get respect in return.
Performances were fantastic all around. I was sold, and duped, by the various actors, so kudos to the cast. The script played a major part in enabling the actors to shine; dialogue was natural, despite dipping into the sticky topic of race, and being within a suspense genre. Usually with scary movies or thrillers, there’s something ridiculous that sticks out for a moment that ruins the immersion. Get Out features a solid script which enables a quality production as the end result.
The film is indeed funny, but that’s not its primary goal. This film belongs squarely within the mystery/suspense genre. IMDb categorizes it as horror, but I’m less inclined. The source of suspense is neither supernatural nor alien, and the film just wasn’t scary. It felt like it was trying to be suspenseful and creepy more so than scary, and it succeeds.
In truth, I can’t knock on this film. Aside from some nitpicky stuff, there’s really nothing that turned me off from the film. It’s clever, it’s funny, and the plot points are tidy for the most part. The ending is kind of cheap (how Chris is ultimately found), but it’s not a big deal.
The Value of being One-of-a-kind
Lately on gamobo I’ve been praising films that have unique premises and aren’t remakes or re-imaginings. This echoes, I think, the general sentiment of most movie goers. We’re simply tired of the same old, same old, and so when something new comes along, it’s looks all the more shinier and attractive for it.
Although the “Meet the in-laws” premise has been used many times before, it rarely gets put into the genre of mystery and suspense, which made Get Out an interesting and novel production immediately. Backed by consistently good actors and dialogue, the film indeed deserves to be praised for being a good movie, but is it above average?
Judging from what most people are saying, everyone seems to think so, but I don’t think this movie was that special. Supporters of the film rave over the clever little hints and connections that the film has, but I can’t help but feel that foreshadowing and consistent themes are just regular standards of good storytelling. The film also receives much praise for how its creepiness seems to extend beyond the screen and get on the audience’s nerves, which I agree with; there were many tension-filled, butt-clenching moments, but that doesn’t warrant a “must-watch” status for a film.
This movie is consistent and entertaining, but I probably won’t watch it again. It’s most definitely not on the same level as say, The Godfather or Pulp Fiction. It’s a bit worrying that the Internet is raving over this film, because it suggests that the standard of remakes and re-imaginings has so affected movie-goers that anything new, even average movies, will be overhyped and receive more praise than it deserves. Either something’s wrong with them, or something’s wrong with me. Oh well.
Watch it! It’s a solid film, and I’ll leave it to you to form your own judgements. If you have watched it, I’d be curious to hear what you think. Does it deserve all the praise it’s getting? I don’t think so, but I might be missing something.
What is encouraging is that we are still getting new and unique stories, and Get Out has a worthwhile script that is performed by talented actors, so give it a shot if you haven’t already. Just don’t go in expecting the next major game-changer, but it is most certainly an impressive debut for director Jordan Peele.
This has been a gamobo review. Thanks for reading.