Quote from Get Out by Dean Armitage: “Life can be a sick joke.”
Reality is Sometimes a Hard Pill to Swallow
Get Out reminds me somewhat of Juno from a screenwriting perspective. Anyone remember Diablo Cody, the screenwriter who became the “it woman” in Hollywood after she won an Oscar? She is currently working on a script about Barbie, to be released in 2020. Flash forward to ten years later. It is Jordan Peele’s turn to be in the spotlight. He has become the “it man.” His script incorporated themes such as interracial relationships, racial stereotypes, and gut instincts. Jordan Peele is probably best known for his comedy show with Keegan-Michael Key. While never one to miss an opportunity to poke fun at social phenomenon and various groups, Get Out has enough comedic elements where it isn’t serious 100% of the time, and maybe in some scenes a little too much. This is my first review on a recent movie where I was pickier than usual, and this should be major spoiler free.
People that Made it Happen
Get Out, is a Universal Pictures film in conjunction with Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment, Monkeypaw Productions, Dentsu, and Fuji Television Network Imperative Entertainment, RedRum Films, Scott Free Productions, and TriStar Productions. It was written and directed by Jordan Peele. The major actors and actresses are Daniel Kaluuya (playing Chris Washington), Allison Williams (playing Rose Armitage), Bradley Whitford (playing Dean Armitage), Catherine Keener (playing Missy Armitage), Caleb Landry Jones (playing Jeremy Armitage). The MMPA rating is R for violence, bloody images, and language including sexual references. The running time is 1 hour and 44 minutes.
This original script focuses on a young man meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Chris and Rose seem the quintessential young couple living in modern society. Chris’s entry into the Armitage house doesn’t come without hesitation. He doesn’t look like them, and is aware of their skepticism. As his stay progresses into the night, he realizes not everything is as it seems, especially when events lead to more questions than answers. Chris has a decision to make that will either preserve his sanity or send him further into a spiral he would rather not go.
The Characters and Plot Summary
One way to begin a movie is to add an opening scene that is to the point. Let it hook the viewer, and end it abruptly. It’s not what I was expecting, but it set the tone for the movie. Predators exist in all kinds of clothes and in this case, helmets.
We are next introduced to a young interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who are leaving for her parents’ house for the weekend. He probes Rose about her family, even her own views about dating outside of her race. She assures him her family is modern enough to appreciate and accept his differences. He relaxes even more when she defends him after they are pulled over by a racist cop.
Chris meets her father, a neurosurgeon, and her mother, a hypnotherapist. Her brother appears to be the black sheep of the family, but still a major part of the family. Chris finds their housekeeper and groundskeeper, two older black individuals, physically stiff and emotionally distant. He wakes up the next morning after having dinner with her family, telling Rose he thinks he has been hypnotized by her mother. She plays it off as nothing serious. It is something she just does. He mainly agrees with her and continues to be the good boyfriend.
The family gathers later, at a party, with their wealthy friends. It is here Chris meets a friendly blind man named Jim Hudson, an art dealer, and a young black man he has a hard time connecting with despite their obvious similarities. It is when he takes a photo of Jim that he receives sensible advice he tries to follow. This snowballs with him revisiting wounds of his past.. It ultimately forces him to rely on himself, and fights for his survival until the very end. You get some understanding of Georgina and Walter, the family’s help, during these scenes. Peele had chosen a different ending from the one in the theaters. I’m glad he changed the original ending, and will leave it at that, for now.
It’s Been Done, but Still Important
I’m going to angle this portion from a writing perspective. It’s hard to make anything original because most of it has already been done. There are clearly elements taken from past stories in this script. It’s bound to happen. Most of us accept this fact. The two movies that come to mind were The Skeleton Key and The Stepford Wives. The acting was appropriate to have effective scenes. Daniel Kaluuya was on point with his range of emotions. There was enough mystery with Rose’s parents. His girlfriend, Rose, was loving in her own way. However, I would have liked a little more time devoted to the characters of Georgina and Walter. Their scenes could have been pushed a little more to make the viewer truly uncomfortable. I knew something was clearly wrong with them from the start so why not take advantage of their creepiness. Overall, there was enough substance, but the primary reason for the choices made by the Armitage family were a bit thin, at best, and may have been an unintended plot hole, at worst. Yet, Peele did include a play on metaphor of what it means to be a young black man in today’s society, which I appreciated.
This movie targeted primarily young and middle-aged adults, especially those interested in the horror genre. I’d say a good two handfuls also watched it to learn why Chris was on the verge of some mental anguish. This movie is labeled as horror, mystery, and thriller. I was not scared or surprised by much of the film, but a movie does not have to make you jump to be effective. I do wish it closed with a scene as it opened. There was bit too much humor at the end for me although the original ending was more than likely what would have happened in reality. While I recommend this movie, it is one I will probably only see once.
Pisaries Creator’s Rating
Get Out gets three fingers at 80%.