Two things happened today that in no way prepared me for Get Out – first, I happened upon an article bemoaning a dearth of mixed-race couples in films, then I watched a football match.
The former led me to believe there was some kind of positive message awaiting me in Get Out, the latter had me on the edge of my seat during the final 15 minutes – meaning I really needed to unwind and relax.
Neither of these things happened.
Hailed and lauded in many a corner, and with our social media feeds awash with just how awesome Get Out is, it’s a film that has arrived with a lot of buzz and hype.
A psychological horror with a smattering of laughs, it tells the story of Chris and his weekend away with his girlfriend Rose at her parents gaff.
Obviously it’s not just them sitting around sipping ice tea, and sure enough stuff starts to get weird and creepy before you can say WTF.
The tone is set beautifully from the start, as a young black guy is bundled into the trunk of a car to the tune of Run Rabbit Run.
It’s creepy, dark and delightfully twisted.
It also gets the old pulse racing – as does the scene from the trailer where a deer bounces off the car – which got the audience jumping and laughing, and me wishing my team could do simple, easy matches.
And things carry on from there at a surprisingly sedate pace.
In fact, the first third of the movie is done in such a way as to only offer hints and flickers of the weirdness that awaits.
And the ending is nothing short of superb – I’d almost push to genius, the point it’s making is that good.
In between, however…
Let’s start with the positives.
Daniel Kaluuya, as Chris, is someone we’ve been a fan of since Psychoville, and here he’s in top form. Menacing and nasty when needed, but also playing up the softer side and laughs with aplomb.
Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford as Rose’s parents are both going against type and are subtly creepy from the get go.
Allison Williams (of Girls fame) meanwhile is equally as strong and utterly believable.
It’s well shot and looks good, although a fewer close-ups of people’s faces wouldn’t go amiss.
It’s the middle part of the film that’s the tricky bit.
And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just a thing.
The tension and oddness ratchets up as the film unfolds, as you’d expect, and what unfolds raises questions both about writer/director Jordan Peele’s intentions and the audience’s reactions.
We sat down with The Bas immediately after the film and recorded our initial thoughts – but an hour on from that, I’m not sure I agree with what I thought back then.
We don’t do spoilers, so can’t even begin to talk about what we’re trying to talk about here – but there’s a lot to talk about.
What unfolds raises questions about race, race relations, and your own views on both those subjects – and they are things that go deeper than you may first think.
As the lights came up, I was all ‘well, that happened’ and was left genuinely flumoxed by what had unfolded.
But with a small amount of time to reflect, I think Peele has found a way to ask tricky questions about how we view each other without making a big deal about it.
Yes, granted, a mainstream film could be seen as ‘a big deal’ – but there are things to see if you want, or you can just scream and laugh.
The more I think about it, this is a far clever film than it first appears.
Or is being pushed in the trailers.
Alongside the screams and the laughs are scenes and themes that are genuinely unsettling (I have a real ‘thing’ about hypnosis) and to see them in a mainstream film is refreshing.
It shouldn’t be, but there are some things that just don’t get talked about – and Get Out seems to cover most of them.
The more I think about it, I think the reason I was knocked off kilter by this film is because not only was it not what I expected it did the unexpected in unexpected ways.
Which is a lot of unexpected in two hours.
But views and opinions are morphing and changing with every passing hour, and this is a film that will benefit from repeated viewings.