Once in a while a movie comes along that takes a genre by the scruff of the neck and vigorously shakes it into a new shape.
This is so with Get Out, a horror movie (so the marketing blurb says) that lobs a few horror tropes into a lean and mean 104 minute thriller. But it is really a social observation on the insidiousness of racism. It comes out the other end as a unique movie offering.
It borrows from Pacific Heights, Psycho, Michael Haneke’s astonishing Party Games and sub-horror-porn like Saw without ever being any of them.
Without resorting to spoilers its one gigantic twist from start to finish that realises the fears of a young black American guy on a trip to the country to meet his wealthy WASP girlfriend’s family on a celebration weekend. Every sentence uttered by every character becomes a retrospective clue as to what the outcome will be.
Given it’s described as a ‘horror’ you can expect a deal of nasty stuff in a climactic ending. What director and screenwriter Jordan Peele (amazingly a debut outing) most cleverly does is apply Hitchcockian tension so that 89 minutes of tension are realised in a mere 15 minutes of terror in such a way that the nasty bits don’t (as so often is the case) outstay their welcome.
Superb performances all round from the five principal actors, but especially boyfriend and girlfriend Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams (Girls).
It’s should be no surprise that this has been both BAFTA and Golden Globes nominated, but it is because this genre rarely reaches this level of critical acclaim.
It’ll get Oscar nods too.