Jordan Peele’s first foray behind the camera as a director is funny, thrilling and often frightening. The writer-director balances an array of tones, bringing them together seamlessly in a movie with a lot to offer. “Get Out” is a film that works on many levels. It’s a surprisingly thoughtful and relevant thriller with plenty of ideas to go along with the scares and laughs.
The problem with writing about “Get Out” is that many of its strengths lie in the third act, where questions are answered and storylines are paid off in satisfying and unexpected ways. But part of the appeal of Peele’s debut is that it’s hardly predictable. When Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) goes to spend the weekend with his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) and her parents, it’s not easy to predict everything that’s about to happen. Her parents, Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener), aren’t always welcoming, which is likely why Rose didn’t tell them that her new boyfriend was black. But while Chris is willing to forgive Dean’s racially insensitive remarks, as the weekend progresses, he stumbles upon a terrifying discovery that puts his life in danger.
Peele’s vision for a thriller doesn’t involve characters making terrible decisions to move the story along. Chris and his best friend Rod (the terrific LilRel Howery) are sometimes even a few steps ahead of the antagonists. Though Rod isn’t present for the horrors that take place at the Armitage home, he’s worried about his friend, checking in on him every once in a while to make sure he’s okay. When he realizes everything is far from all right, he makes the right call, like Chris often does in the movie.