Get Out Blu-ray Review

Racially provocative scare picture gets the job done. 3 Stars

A horror movie with deeper sociological implications that are only partially realized, Jordan Peele’s Get Out to its credit strives for more of the psychological horror of The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby rather than the gross-out gore fests of most of today’s horror films.

Get Out (2017)
Released: 24 Feb 2017
Rated: R
Runtime: 104 min
Director: Jordan Peele
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford
Writer(s): Jordan Peele
Plot: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate.
IMDB rating: 8.0
MetaScore: 84

Disc Information
Studio: Universal
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: R
Run Time: 1 Hr. 44 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: All
Release Date: 05/23/2017
MSRP: $34.98

The Production: 3/5

A horror movie with deeper sociological implications that are only partially realized, Jordan Peele’s Get Out to its credit strives for more of the psychological horror of The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby rather than the gross-out gore fests of most of today’s horror films. Excellent performances and the director and cast’s clever shielding of what’s really going on deliver a production that works despite some lapses in logic and physiology.

Excited to introduce her boy friend of five months to her parents, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) and Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) plan a long weekend at her parents’ country estate. Missy (Catherine Keener) and Dean (Bradley Whitford) Armitage welcome the young black photographer with open arms to their home though it has slipped Rose’s mind that this is the weekend of her parents’ garden party, an extensive gathering of liberal white friends who are nothing but eager to meet and gush over Chris. Apart from Rose’s rather aggressive brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), Chris meets with nothing but pleasantries and compliments from all around him, and that includes the Armitage’s somewhat robotic black servants Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson). A strange encounter with the one other black guest Logan (Lakeith Stanfield) at the party unsettles Chris, and Missy’s over eagerness to hypnotize Chris to cure him of his cigarette addiction convinces him that perhaps he and Rose should end their weekend prematurely.

Writer-producer-director Jordan Peele borrows tropes from the aforementioned Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining as well as fashioning a kind of The Stepford Wives vibe about the narrative that’s quite effective in establishing a growing sense of dread as the film continues to run. Though there are some jump scares early on (the first will literally have you jumping out of your chair coming out of nowhere as it does), a second viewing of the film will reveal quite a few layers of meaning and subterfuge that one can’t be aware of the first time through. Director Peele composes some brilliant shots and sequences (the hypnotism sequence is evocatively conceived and delivered and a later operation scene spares us some of the overt gore by focusing the camera at the doctor’s glasses’ reflection rather than shoving the body parts and bodily fluids into our faces). There is narrative laziness unfortunately in allowing characters who have been battered to spring back to life as if they had nine lives just for the sake of some quick jolts, and the use of Chris’ jive-talking best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery) to diffuse some of the tension and suspense with his nonsense wears out its welcome incredibly fast. The screenplay’s more serious concerns with racism and prejudice don’t really score the kinds of satirical jabs their creator is attempting to explore especially since the motivation for the antagonists’ actions seems rather thin.

As the object of everyone’s attention, Daniel Kaluuya’s Chris displays far more understanding and tolerance than one might expect in a similar situation (Chris obviously loves Rose very much to endure the kind of obeisance and scrutiny the weekend is providing). It’s not quite the powerhouse performance the role requires, but he gets by and certainly has the audience’s sympathy. Allison Williams does a masterful job as Rose, a performance more fascinating and layered on the second or third viewing once one knows all of the film’s many secrets. Bradley Whitford and especially Catherine Keener make their cheerfulness and support viable character traits that pay dividends in the later reels of the film. Caleb Landry Jones offers a scary take on the unhinged Jeremy, and Lil Rel Howery occupies the other end of the spectrum as the movie’s comic relief (his scene with the police as he tries to explain events that seem odd to him pushes absurdity to new heights). Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson bring creepiness in spades to the film as the enigmatic household servants.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

The film’s 2.40:1 theatrical aspect ratio is faithfully rendered in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. It’s a nicely detailed transfer with excellent sharpness while color saturation levels are quite impressive (the opening sequence on a darkened suburban street is gorgeous to look at), and skin tones are lifelike and appealing. Contrast varies a bit in certain sequences, but black levels never suffer with infinite inky backgrounds especially obvious in the hypnotic sequences. The movie has been divided into 20 chapters.

Audio: 4.5/5

The film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix uses the hip-hop tunes and Michael Abels’ background score as the primary surround elements. Dialogue has been well recorded and has been placed in the center channel. Split atmospheric effects seem a trifle more limited than one might expect in a thriller, but the film’s relatively low budget ($4.5 million) might have something to do with that.

Special Features: 3/5

Audio Commentary: writer-director Jordan Peele offers the psychological explanations for everything that’s going on in the movie along with effusive praise for all of the film’s participants.

Alternate Ending (3:39, HD): much less effective ending to the film with optional commentary from Jordan Peele available.

Deleted Scenes (23:02, HD): eleven scenes may be viewed individually or together and with or without director Jordan Peele’s commentary.

Unveiling the Horror of Get Out (8:23, HD): opinions on the film’s characters and themes are offered by writer- director Jordan Peele, producers Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick, and actors Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Lil Rel Howery, Marcus Henderson, and Betty Gabriel.

Q&A Discussion (5:28, HD): Chance the Rapper hosts a brief question and answer session with Jordan Peele, Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, and Lil Rel Howery participating.

DVD/Digital Copy: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.

Overall: 3/5

Get Out is an unusual psychological thriller with deeper sociological ramifications than merely wanting to scare the daylights out of the viewer. Each member of the audience will have his or her own opinions on how successful those underlying themes are, but there is no denying that the Blu-ray release offers very satisfying picture and sound for those interested.

Published by

Matt Hough

administrator

8 Comments

  1. I apparently loved this movie much more than the reviewer, as I thought it was a pretty hilarious romp not just into the horror elements, but also into a play on black roles in the horror genre.

    In fact, I thought the laziness that the review points out was really purposeful plays on tired tropes, rather than the tired tropes themselves; and the call backs to the way in which these roles are traditionally cast.

    I guess, for me, this is a very dark comedy where I felt some members were in on the joke, and others were not

  2. Sorry Matt, but I have to disagree with your assessment. From the very beginning, it is very apparent what intended message is here. You don’t need a second or third viewing to capture what the movie is saying. (And that’s coming from a white guy.) Get Out is all about the forced assimilation of other races (in this case, African Americans) by “the majority” (Caucasians). It’s not a hidden message, it’s plain as day. Nor is it subtle…if you want to bother looking past the horror aspects of the film.

    And here’s where the mastery came in for me: you can enjoy the film on a basic, horror level. It’s not overly bloody, but it holds enough jumps and action for that audience. But the real story is changing people to conform instead of embracing their differences.

    I don’t need to see Get Out again, but I damn well enjoyed and admired it.

    1. I think you misread some of my comments. I never said a second of third viewing was necessary to ferret out the film’s themes. They’re clear as day. My comments about multiple viewings have to do with noticing what’s going on in several actors’ performances which are obscured by the subterfuge going on in the film’s narrative. The film gains in power and effect on a second or third viewing. I don’t think that can be argued.

  3. Two Matts in this conversation is confusing and I may be missing content.. but.. Jason, your “about the force assimilation” is a WAY WAY different message than I, or anyone I know, took from the film.

  4. Well, think about it. White folks are taking black men, hypnotizing them and making them into "acceptable" norms in that society.

    Sure, you can say this is all metaphor for the unease black people (or any minority) feels in society. But it goes deeper than that. This isn't "just" the deaths of young, black men as we see in the news; this is about making them assimilate to the majorities norms and leaving behind the cultural things that make them who they are. Losing who you are is more frightening than the boogeyman in the closet, at least for me.

  5. I think the way I took it is that the black characters in many of these films are disposable characters; they are killed off early and often. In this film, they are just as disposable.. the police never comes looking for them. I didn't take it so much as the unease about how society feels about the deaths of black men, more about the fact that society doesn't care enough to notice.. and especially not within the horror film landscape.

    I thought the storyline you are referring to isn't so much about culture assimilation as much as it is that casting and tropes are such that they are defined far more by type as much as color, and the type casting element within these films is pretty point blank.

    I also thought this film, along with "Cabin in the Woods" are great attacks on the way in which stereotypes are used to define characters and expectations, and that play on expectations, especially surrounding the daughter and grandmother, was really well done.

  6. mattCR

    I also thought this film, along with "Cabin in the Woods" are great attacks on the way in which stereotypes are used to define characters and expectations

    I agree completely with that! My wife and I went to see "Get Out" in theaters, and immediately after the movie ended, our first thought was, "We should rewatch Cabin In The Woods". They're not the same film, of course, but they share a sensibility, and I think fans of one would likely enjoy the other. And Bradley Whitford is great in both!

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