Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Get Out Review
Before we dive into this movie, let's discuss this Rotten Tomatoes score. For a while it stayed at that 100 percent mark, which is insane for any movie. Armond White from the National Review finally gave the movie its first negative review, but that means the movie currently stands at a 99 percent with 144 reviews counted as of the publishing of this review. That would qualify it as one of the best reviewed horror movies EVER. Is it that good? No, it's not. But I'm not going to say I was disappointed going into the movie because I didn't have the expectation that it would be that good. I just figured that there was something a bit off with the critics this time around. As a comparison, two of the best modern horror movies in my opinion are "The Witch" and "The Babadook." "The Witch" has a 91 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes while "The Babadook" has a 98 percent score. It's a crime against humanity that "Get Out" has a better score. A better comparison for "Get Out" in my humble opinion is "Don't Breathe," which has a 87 percent, and "Lights Out," which has a 76 percent. That's the type of horror movie you're getting here with "Get Out." And I liked both of those movies, so that's not a bad thing. I'm just saying you should go in with the right expectations.
I definitely have to give props to this movie for doing this in such an honest, straightforward way. It becomes a relevant movie. Black people have watched this movie and felt like it was telling the story of their life in certain scenes. Thus if you are not black, you can watch this movie and get a taste of what they are going through on a daily basis. I have a huge appreciation for what this movie accomplishes. But I'm not going to automatically label this as the best horror movie ever because it got the politics right. It needs to hold up to horror standards for me to label it as the best horror movie ever. I judge the movie, not the politics. And as a movie, this doesn't hold up to the standard of a horror classic. But this does a good enough job for me to praise it as a good horror movie, much like I did "Lights Out" and "Don't Breathe." Both of those movies I was able to point out plenty of flaws with the movie, but I had a good enough time with them to give them high recommendations. And I will also say this is a super impressive directorial debut for Jordan Peele. It's one thing to go from comedy to drama in the acting realm. It's another thing to go from comedic actor to horror director. That tells me that Mr. Peele has a great career ahead of him in various genres and film roles.
There's a lot of things that this movie does right and a few things that it does less right. Sadly I'm not going to dive super deep into this because it's the type of movie that requires a spoiler review to do so. I did that earlier this year with M. Night Shyamalan's "Split," which I didn't use in my comparisons because I consider "Split" more of a psychological thriller than a horror. What's the difference between the two genres? That's a good question. I'm not the best at defining it in words. It's one of those things where I know it when I see it even if I can't explain it in words. But "Get Out" is definitely horror. And it's the type of horror where the less you know going in, the better your experience is going to be. If I dive deep into my feelings, that's going to take something away from your experience. And I don't think it's quite good enough or trippy enough to warrant a spoiler review. So I'm going to dance around a bit for the rest of this review, giving general statements that do my opinion justice without giving things away. One thing I will say right off the bat is that this does creepy really well. There's a ton of setup before we dive into the meat of the problem, and that setup is dang good. We get subtle hints that something is up that slowly decrease the comfort level and bring us closer and closer to the end of our seat before crap hits the fan in the final act of the movie.
One final thing to touch on. The best horror movies, and thrillers for that matter, are ones that the villain has good motivations. Why is the ghost haunting the place? Why is the witch performing sorcery? Why is the serial killer murdering people? Why is the creepy dude stalking someone? Why is the old man trapping people in his house? "Just for the heck of it" is not a good enough answer. "Split" has great motivations. "Pyscho" has phenomenal motivations. "Don't Breathe" has good motivations. "The Witch" has good motivations. "The Babadook" has good motivations. "Lights Out" doesn't have good motivations, but is effective in what it set out to do. "Get Out" is also effective in what it sets out to do. It's successfully creepy with a great setup and great acting all around, especially from Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. Jordan Peele proves he knows how to direct horror and I want to see more from him in this genre. We also have great social commentary and well placed comedy that doesn't ruin the creepy mood. We also have a very satisfying finale. But the movie is fairly predictable and the motivations aren't there. Because of that, I'm shocked that more critics haven't been daring enough to pick this apart. That said, I'm still giving "Get Out" an 8/10.