Let me cut to the end right away: Get Out is a terrific film. It is very scary, extremely funny, and poignant in ways that will make most viewers feel awkward. Jordan Peele (half of Key & Peele) has shown that he is a hilarious writer and performer and that he can deliver real pathos on screen. Behind the camera, here in his first feature film, he is incredibly assured. His confidence is evident from the first scene of the film. The story, also written by Peele, is both a classic horror film set up and a smart rumination on race.
Daniel Kaluuya (terrific here) plays Chris, a young man on his way to meet his girlfriend's parents for the first time. He asks Rose, played with spry energy by Allison Williams, if she has told her parents that he is black - she has not. Immediately, the audience can sense the anxiety that Chris is subjecting himself to by driving into the country to meet his girlfriend's white-on-white parents and their rich, white friends. In every scene, Chris (and we, the audience) are acutely aware of his race and the family's race and the gulfs that divide them.
Peele uses these scenes to build character for Chris as he is consistently weirded out but keeps pushing through and with Rose as she seems so oblivious to his unease. He also uses these scenes to ratchet up the tension and earn some genuine scares. All of this builds to a classic, 1970s-vibe third act full of gonzo horror tropes and jump scares.
LilRel Howery plays Chris' best friend Rod, a TSA agent with a sixth sense for racial shenanigans to much hilarity. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener slink into their roles as Rose's parents, clearly relishing the opportunity.
With Get Out, Peele has delivered a funny, scary film worth seeing and worth talking about.