Jordan Peele’s horror film ‘Get Out’ is required viewing

The film finds horror in the absurdity of reality.

DANIEL KALUUYA as Chris Washington in Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

DANIEL KALUUYA as Chris Washington in Universal Pictures

Maddy Folstein

“Get Out” comedian Jordan Peele’s debut horror film is easily one of the best films I’ve seen. Released last week, it’s already garnered unprecedented critical acclaim for a film of its kind.

In “Get Out,” Rose (played by Allison Williams) takes her new boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to her WASP-y, suburban parents. From the very beginning, Chris fears Rose’s parents, and asks her if she’s told them he’s black. As Chris interacts with Rose’s parents and their community, satire spirals into thrilling territory.

The suburban community where Rose’s parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) live is a place of elite white liberalism. Rose’s father, for example, proudly shares with Chris that he would vote for Barack Obama for a third term if he could.

In one scene, Chris is introduced to the parents’ friends. The older, white couples do not speak hatefully towards Chris, but they play into stereotypes and microaggressions. One man tries to connect with Chris over golf by bringing up Tiger Woods.

Despite his comedic background, director Jordan Peele has clarified that “Get Out” is meant to be a thriller — despite moments of uncomfortable laughter.

While “Key and Peele” focuses on locating reality in the absurd, “Get Out” finds horror in the absurdity of reality. Is Chris overreacting to Rose’s parents’ suspicions and the coldness of their black housekeepers Georgina and Walter (Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson), or is there something darker at stake?

The film succeeds by both fulfilling and pushing the boundaries of the horror genre. Its jump-scares are impeccable and its plot builds suspense appropriately, but the social commentary is what pushes the notion of a traditional slasher flick.

Most of the horror is derived from just how familiar the film’s world is. The cities and suburbs in the film are unnamed and therefore seem like they could be located in Minnesota, New York, Alabama, anywhere.

For any viewer, this world feels familiar, uncomfortable and — as the film shows — dangerous. While driving to Rose’s parents’ house, Rose and Chris hit a deer with their car and call the police to deal with the damage. Despite the fact that Chris wasn’t driving, the officer still asks for his license. Police brutality incidents of recent years are immediately called to mind.

See it for the horror, see it for the satire, or see it for both — it doesn’t really matter. “Get Out” is important and should be considered required viewing.