Get Out! – an intelligent thriller says reviewer David Vass

It’s a truism that the characters in thrillers frequently act irrationally, leaving their frustrated audience mute with impotent rage. All we want them to do is get out, yet they rarely follow this advice. Jordan Peele is obviously a genre fan and has clearly been in that audience. In this impressive directorial debut his Oscar winning screenplay carefully orchestrates the action, racketing up the tension unbearably, without ever sacrificing sympathy for his protagonist, brilliantly played by BAFTA winner Daniel Kaluuya.

Much has been made of Get Out’s similarity to the pervading unease of The Stepford Wives, but there are shades of many other 70s classics. Rosemary’s Baby, Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, and even the Wicker Man eschew the visceral, instead focusing of a creeping sense of dread, as presumed paranoia slowly gives way to the idea that someone really is after you. Add to the mix a sly dig at post-racial liberal US politics, and you have a sharp, witty homage to clever thrillers that nonetheless ploughs new ground – making apposite points about American culture without laying it on too thick.

It’s a pity that the film is being sold to the horror market. Gore hounds brought up on the grotesquery of Eli Roth and Rob Zombie are going to be hugely disappointed by its restraint, while those looking for a classic chiller are in danger of missing out on a superb, nuanced movie about race, conspiracy and deer antlers – I would urge fans of intelligent cinema not to make that mistake.

By David Vass