Get Out – 2017
Barely over a year ago, Jordan Peele’s darkly satirical horror-comedy was yet to be unleashed on the world, and few could have anticipated the impact it would have upon its release. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by way of The Twilight Zone, the film follows a mixed-race couple, Chris and Alison, as they travel to the countryside estate of her white middle-class family for their annual garden party. The film keeps the audience guessing, as Chris does, as to whether he is truly being paranoid about his girlfriend’s weird family, or whether something more sinister is afoot. With a whip-smart script that allows you to second-guess yourself all the way to the film’s stunning ending, Get Out marked Jordan Peele as a major creative talent, as well as giving its astonishing lead, Daniel Kaluuya, the big-screen breakthrough he has deserved after over a decade in the industry.
Though the film tips into jump-scare horror, as well as exuberant bursts of comic relief courtesy of Chris’ suspicious friend Rod, it goes beyond its genre trappings to make some genuinely unnerving observations about race and gender that catch the viewer unexpectedly by the throat; managing the rare feat of balancing its intelligence with strong entertainment value. It’s too early to say what the legacy of the film will be, although the film’s near-universal critical acclaim and unexpectedly strong awards season success is certainly very interesting in terms of its status as a genre film. Get Out has risen from the metaphorical sunken place of the post-2017 Oscars-release season with legs strong enough to carry it all the way to this year’s Best Picture race. Here’s to the next decade of cinema bringing such joyous surprises as this one. (SG)