MOVIE TITLE Blu-ray Review
Written by Steve Pattee
Blu-ray released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Written and directed by Jordan Peele
2017, 104 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray and DVD released on May 23rd, 2017
Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington
Allison Williams as Rose Armitage
Caleb Landry Jones as Jeremy Armitage
Stephen Root as Jim Hudson
Catherine Keener as Missy Armitage
Bradley Whitford as Dean Armitage
When I saw the first trailer for Get Out, I immediately made it a point to avoid everything I could about the film because it looked like something I wanted to know zero about going in. When I found out it was written and directed by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame, I doubled my effort. Comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin, and if anyone has watched Key & Peele, they would know the skits the two perform don't just have a high production value, many times there is a dark side to them as well. I had high expectations for Get Out. Fortunately for me, it lived up to Every. Single. One.
Get Out centers on Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Kick-Ass 2, The Fades), a young man heading to the country to meet the family of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams, TV's Girls). Worried that there might an issue since Rose didn't inform her parents that this was going to be a Guess Who's Coming to Dinner moment (Chris is black and Rose is white, you see), Chris is put at ease after meeting them. Things get awkward, however, when her brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones - Antiviral) arrives and starts saying inappropriate things. But the real awkwardness begins the following day when the annual party celebrating Rose's dead grandfather gets into full swing. Chris isn't the only black man at the shindig, but he's the only one who isn't...off.
I love this movie. I just want to end this review right there. I. Love. This. Movie. With the exception of one teeny tiny part that bothered me (a completely unnecessary jump scare), everything about Get Out works. Peele does an exceptional job of making things just weird enough the moment Chris and Rose arrive at her folks' house that you are compelled to watch. And there is nothing truly overtly off here; something is so very, very wrong, but you cannot put your finger on it. You want to scream at Chris to do exactly what the film's title is, but at the same time, he would look foolish for leaving because there is really no threat from his point of view; just a bunch of white people doing white people things.
And that's another credit to Peele's amazing directorial debut. Chris is more or less the only person of color at an all-white party (a rich cracker shindig, no less) and the guests treat him exactly how you would expect the man to be treated; like an exhibit of some sorts. The people go out of their way to (try to) identify with Chris' blackness, as if that's all there is to him. There are statements tossed about like, "Black is in!" and "I love that Tiger Woods." Even Rose's own father is a man who would never be accused of racism because he "would have voted for Obama a third time if he could." The irony is, these comments in themselves are not what makes everything feel so off. I've seen this sort of thing firsthand. As a cracker who grew up in a predominantly redneck town, I probably have done this myself. And the messed up part is while I'm uncomfortable watching the whites desperately showing how not-racist they are, this is just a normal day for people of color like Chris. This is what he's used to. Not satisfied with just unsettling me, Peele makes it even more unnerving with scenes like Chris rushing through a house of chatter and heading up the stairs, only for the voices – unknown to him – go deathly silent as all the heads on the first floor turn to the second when he reaches that final step. At his point, you are internally yelling to the protagonist not to get out, but to GET. THE. FUCK. OUT.
But Chris doesn't and when he realizes he should, it's too late. It always is.
Peele's astounding direction is matched only by the performances of his key player. Daniel Kaluuya crushes it as Chris. I can't speak of his performance highly enough because when the man isn't dropping dialog, he's blowing you away with subtle facial expressions. I honestly don't think it's acting in some of these situations with the rich folk; it's very, very clear that he's lived this in real life. Allison Williams as Rose is equally impressive. She is out to protect her man no matter what, and his importance to her life is so believable it's damn near tangible.
Dean and Missy Armitage, Rose's parents, are played by the always-awesome Bradley Whitford (whom I didn't even recognize at first until he started talking) and Catherine Keener. Honestly, you can't go wrong with stars like these two, and they bring experience to an already impressive cast.
Even the secondary players are great. Marcus Henderson is effectively creepy as the Armitage's groundskeeper and Betty Gabriel's performance of their maid Georgina is both off putting and unsettling. Both are a delight to watch. LilRel Howery delivers legit comic relief as Chris' friend Rod (SEX SLAVE!!); Lakeith Stanfield makes sure you are uneasy with his performance of Andrew; and Caleb Landry Jones is annoying from go as Rose's brother. And the cherry on top is Steven "where's my stapler" Root, who always adds to whatever project he's involved with.
Get Out works on many levels, and one viewing isn't good enough. It's one of those rare horror movies that has multiple layers (racism, classism, get-the-hell-outism, to name a few) that will lead to hours of discussion. Jordan Peele has effectively kicked the door wide open in announcing he's going to be here for a while with this directorial debut, and I'm incredibly eager to see what he brings to the table next. I'm already sitting here waiting for it.
Video and Audio:
As you would probably expect, the video presentation of Get Out is exceptional. This was released both theatrically and on home video this year, so there is no excuse why it would be anything but.
The Dolby DTS-HD 5.1 audio is equally impressive, with fine use of the sides and rears when needed. I should also mention that the Michael Abels' perfect score sounds perfect here; this is one soundtrack I'll be picking up.
- Alternate Ending & Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Writer/Director Jordan Peele
- Unveiling the Horror of Get Out
- A Discussion with Jordan Peele and the Cast
- Feature Commentary
Without giving anything away, but the ending you fully expect is found here in either the ending used or the alternate ending. It's one of those rarities where it changes the tone entirely and I'm glad they included it.
Like most deleted scenes, these were wisely cut, especially after listening to Peele's reasoning why. They are definitely worth a watch, if only to check out Howery's multiple takes on a particular scene. They are hilarious. (I wish they were edited tighter though.)
Unveiling the Horror of Get Out (8:50) is a too short piece that plays more like an Electronic Press Kit due to its brevity. It's contains the standard interviews on how wonderful everyone is as well as addressing some of the themes of the film.
The Q&A Discussion with Jordan Peele and the Cast (5:28) is exactly that; a discussion held at a convention.
The biggest winner here is Peele's commentary. Insightful, informative and at times amusing, Peele digs deep with the themes of Get Out, his influences, and a lot of the character motivations. For example, there's a great and terrifying scene in which Walter is running full speed directly towards Chris, and Peele explains why Walter is running the way he is. This is absolutely unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but it does add more meat to the film when you go to watch it again. There are many of these tidbits sprinkled throughout the commentary, and it's because of these and everything else that this is one of the best pieces of its type that I've heard in a good while.