By Tristan Davis – Features Editor
“Get Out” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to outstanding reviews. Many critics praised it for its’ writing, dramatic performances, and the fact that the film was both written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jordan Peele, better known for his comedic work on MTV, and with his Comedy Central sketch show “Key and Peele.” While all these things are true, what’s most impressive is the film’s fearlessness; it’s fast-paced, unsettling objective of tackling a deeply emotional theme that has been at the forefront of American media for quite some time: racism towards African-Americans.
“Get Out” is fearless for a few reasons. First of all, it’s worth mentioning again that this is Peele’s feature length debut, and something he’s said he’s wanted to do for quite some time. He’s not only tackling a new format, but a new theme as well. There’s no arguing the man is funny; any one of his countless sketches on YouTube (DaVoin Shower-Handel, anyone?) will prove that he’s comfortable making people laugh, though “Get Out” proves he’s just as comfortable scaring audiences as well. After a year filled with violence, misunderstanding, and a movement that’s spread its’ awareness all around the world, few directors would touch the race theme with a ten-foot pole. Peele is not one of those directors.
Though it wouldn’t be difficult, it certainly wouldn’t be fair to speak solely about how well Peele’s idea translates to the big screen. Then I wouldn’t get to rave about the outstanding cast, led by Daniel Kaluuya (“Sicario,” “Black Mirror”) and Allison Williams (“Girls”), who both spout effortlessly the chemistry of a young biracial couple, not to mention timely comedic performances by Lil Rel Howery, and disturbing portrayals of upper-class white citizens courtesy of Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, and Caleb Landry-Jones.
Shot beautifully at a remote countryside mansion in Alabama, the film also sports a unique soundtrack featuring Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” and an absolutely chilling rendition of “Run Rabbit Run” performed by Ralph Butler and Noel Gay.
With “Get Out,” there is a lot to love. It can be viewed as a fun, lightning-paced jump scare film with a few hearty laughs, but with further reflection, it’s a bitingly satirical take on modern life as an African-American living amongst the white upper class.
It’s a remarkable debut from a rookie filmmaker that has us genuinely excited for whatever he thinks of next.