Review: Get Out

Frequently when I’m trying to talk myself into doing something I don’t want to do, I ask myself “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

Because I’m an imaginative gal, I am usually able to come up with some pretty creative worst-case scenarios, but the rational part of my mind is aware that those scenarios are extremely unlikely . . . and thus whatever I’m avoiding doing probably isn’t worth putting off.

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out, which he also wrote, has been pegged by some experts as a potential Oscar contender. It’s a horror movie based on a “what’s the worst thing that could happen” scenario.

The setup involves the main character, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a successful, black photographer, meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. And since it’s a horror movie, the worst thing that could happen is obviously way worse than her parents being awkward about their mixed-race relationship.

Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams in Jordan Peele's Get Out

I like creative horror movies, and this one features some unique elements that give it a fresh dynamic. It’s entertaining and moves along at a good pace. Kaluuya has a charming, natural acting style that makes him instantly likable and sympathetic, and comedian LilRel Howery is hilarious as his friend, Rod.

I was instantly drawn into the narrative and able to easily suspend my disbelief when the “weird stuff” started happening. The suspense was good, and I enjoyed trying to guess what was going on. And the reveal was nicely done.

Unfortunately, the explanation given for the unusual scenario didn’t make sense. I wanted to buy it, and it was clear that even Peele knew that it was a stretch. But ultimately, it didn’t work. Which was disappointing, because up to the point where it broke, the film was working well.

Peele and his cast and crew did some solid work here, but Get Out is not an Oscar-worthy film. It’s a pretty good film. It could have been much better, and I honestly wish it had been. But if it ends up being an Oscar contender, it will be solely because of the Academy’s new commitment to diversity. Which is really too bad. Because everyone involved in the film, particularly Kaluuya (whom I think has the talent to be an Oscar-contending actor in the right role) deserves better. They deserve to be recognized for work that is truly remarkable; this is not the right film for those accolades.

It will be interesting to see if the expert predictors are correct on this one. I hope they are not. But we shall see.

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