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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Get Out 2017 * * * Stars

Get OutDirector: Jordan Peele
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener

When I think of the words "get out", I instantly revert back to that part in The Amityville Horror where a supernatural voice yells violently at the late Rod Steiger. Cut to 2017 and I'm now reminded of a movie with the same title as those infamous words.

Get Out (my latest review) is directed by Jordan Peele. He's actually a comedic actor by trade. His debut as a filmmaker, happens to be original in scope. Now when I mean original, that's probably because I haven't seen 1975's The Stepford Wives yet. Supposedly, a few critics and Peele himself, saw "Wives" as an inspiration for Get Out. No matter. This vehicle despite having a lack of jump scares, still has enough juice to moderately give you the creeps.

Premiering at Sundance Film Festival (via January of this year), harboring a budget of 4.5 million (most of it was spent on eye drops, ha), and dealing with themes of race, religion, and the occult, Get Out projects itself like a fright fest from the late 1970's or early 1980's. This is evident even though the flick clearly takes place in present day. There's a scene where a cuckoo family appears on an old television set (in an in-house commercial no less). Then, you get some nostalgic, hair-raising music from Michael Abels (he mostly does orchestra works). Finally, there's a hypnotism segment in which the main trouper "sinks into the floor" and is rendered paralyzed.

Visually and audibly, Get Out is pretty evocative. Jordan Peele must have been using a special lens because he captures cinematic images that feel so 40 years ago.

Image result for Get out 2017 movie scenesAt 103 brief minutes, Get Out starts as a slow burn only to pick up variable speed. Its last act is bloody and sadly, it's a little anti-climatic. Yeah the bad guys (and girls) get theirs but I wanted more of a deadening schism between a Twilight Zone parentage and their helpless prey. The story is as follows: Photographer Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose Armitage (future star in the making Allison Williams), are visiting Rose's parents at their lavish estate (Get Out was shot in various places in Alabama). Washington is African American. Armitage is Caucasian. What Chris doesn't know is that Rose's mom and pops plan on using pseudo-immortality on him. It's all a setup. They are respectively, neurosurgeons and hypnotists and they want to plant the brain of their frail friend into his body. This will render Chris a vegetable and a person unable to function in their brought upon, comatose state.

All in all, Get Out has a blatant twist, some mild comic relief from Washington's best bud (Lil Rel Howery as Rod), and features the song, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" in a crowning moment towards the film's conclusion. Man, you won't look at Dirty Dancing the same way again (or bingo cards either but that's another story). In truth, this is a nicely plotted, well crafted horror mystery that could've used some grander character development. Talk about a cinematic contradiction. Whatever. I'll give Get Out a pass for Peele's keen eye behind the camera. Rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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