With his directorial debut, Jordan Peele became a horror writer/director to watch, and cemented me as a fan. Crafting an unnerving and terrifying story layered in social commentary, Peele used the genre to deliver a powerful story about race, one that is executed with precision and perfection. Balancing mystery, truly horrific moments, and a sense of humour, Peele’s film gets under your skin, while entertaining, and creating conversation.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is going to meet his girlfriend, Rose’s (Allison Williams) for the first time. He’s a little anxious, and despite the consolation that Rose has given him that his parents are fairly liberal, he’s a black man travelling to a predominantly white area. What follows is a horror iteration of the classic Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.
Rose’s parents are welcoming, her father, Dean (Bradley Whitford) is engaging and charming, her mother, Missy (Catherine Keener) is warm, only her brother, Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) seems a little off. But strange encounters with some of the family’s friends, and their… help… puts Chris on edge.
But that’s only the beginning as something truly sinister begins to happen, and Chris finds that there may be no way out, and he may not know who to trust, if anyone. There’s some serious unease layered into this film, momentarily alleviated by some fantastic comedic moments between Chris and his friend, Rod (Lil Rel Howery).
The performances and the beats range from the subtle to the overt, and all of them work in concert to deliver a truly frightening horror film. As things begin to happen, you can see that Peele knows the genre, and the material, and he gets the best out of each and every one of his performers.
For me, this was my introduction to Daniel Kaluuya and I was completely won over, he is an actor to watch, and in doing so, one cannot take one’s eyes off of him. He’s a captivating performer, and Peele has surrounded him with fellow actors that bring out the best in everyone.
I’ve long been a fan of Whitford, so seeing him in a role like this, walking the line he does, as well as Keener, it’s fantastic.
The social commentary in this film is layered, and it’s so very important. Outside of being an entertaining film, this is a film that should generate discussion. And that is the best kind of cinema, one that entertains and educates. Jordan Peele with one film became not only one to watch, but found his way onto my list of favourite directors and creators.
I will be watching everything he makes from here on out. And if you haven’t seen Get Out yet, watch it. And if you have seen it, maybe it’s time to watch it and share it with others.