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“Get Out” is a very promising filmmaking debut for Jordan Peele

Horror comedy hybrids are a hard thing to really pull off. You need to mix the two genres in such a way that never overpowers the other. When it works, it can be brilliant. When it doesn’t, the results can be cringe worthy. With Get Out, Jordan Peele has gone and attempted to mix genres with his directorial debut. For the most part, he really succeeds, creating something rather unique. Peele immediately announces himself as a new voice in movie making to watch out for. Much more than just half of Key & Peele now, he’s a true filmmaker in his own right. Opening this week, the movie should develop a nice little following and give Peele an avenue to really do something even bigger and better next. As a calling card, this is pretty strong stuff.

The film is a look at just how bad meeting your girlfriend’s parents can really go. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) loves Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), but he’s concerned that she’s never told her mother and father that he’s black. Chris thinks it might be an unpleasant surprise when they head to her family’s estate for the weekend, but Rose insists it won’t be an issue at all. When Chris first meets Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy (Catherine Keener), they seem nice enough. They oddly have two African American servants in Walter (Martin Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel), but it all appears harmless. Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) feels off, though, and that’s just the start. Soon, Chris will start to feel less and less welcome, with the ultimate situation slowly revealing itself to be something incredibly dark and ominous. Peele writes and directs, with the rest of the solid cast including LilRel Howery, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield, and more. Genre master Jason Blum produces here through his Blumhouse shingle. The score comes from Michael Abels, while Toby Oliver provides the cinematography.

Aside from the sometimes less than smooth mixing of comedy and horror here, a lot of Get Out really does work. Awards domination is almost certainly not in the cards for this one, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if occasionally this one popped up in screenplay category when the next precursor season arrives. Peele really does have a distinct voice, one that is always on hand here. He comments and satirizes race relations while never forgetting that, above all else, this is a scary movie. His commentary never feels too on the nose, and while he’s a big broad with his comedy, the horror aspect here is an effective slow burn for sure. It’s also nice to see Daniel Kaluuya get a lead role to raise his profile with. The same goes for Allison Williams jumping from the small screen to the big screen. Simply put, Peele knows how to make an effective film and did just that here.

Basically, genre fans have a solid new entry to scope out this weekend in Get Out. If you like your horror chased with a little bit of comedy, this should really be for you. Likewise if you want some genre trappings added on to something potentially mundane. Peele orchestrates it all like a seasoned filmmaker, leading you to really look forward to what he opts to do next behind the camera. For now, definitely give this movie a shot, as it has a lot to offer. It’s not quite the best film of the year so far (more next week on what actually is), but it’s not too far off. 2017’s top tier easily includes this flick. Give it a look and you’ll see what I mean…

Be sure to check out Get Out, in theaters everywhere this Friday!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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