As film pitches go, an American horror comedy about race definitely sounds like risky territory, especially when the man behind it is making his directorial debut.
But Jordan Peele (best known for his long-running Comedy Central sketch series) has seen his extraordinary new feature garner a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, which basically means that at the time of writing it hasn’t received a single negative review.
Psychological thriller Get Out (both written and directed by Peele) follows a young black photographer named Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he travels upstate with white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet her parents for the first time.
In typical horror fashion it’s not long before things take a very sinister turn. But rather than hobbling zombies or screeching demons from hell, the antagonists in Peele’s movie are the town’s middle-class white residents, and in the end it’s both a darkly funny and terrifying examination of race relations in America which could hardly be more timely.
Speaking to USA Today about the genre-weaving film, Peele said: “It just seemed to be a very taboo piece of the discussion to talk about something so horrific as racism in any type of genre other than a film about slavery or something.”
And as mentioned, the critics are showering Get Out with praise. The Rotten Tomatoes 100 club is an exclusive one, with only four of the hundreds of movies released in 2016 making it in. Even more impressive is that horror films in general are rarely unanimous critical darlings.
The Critics Consensus says: “Funny, scary, and thought-provoking, Get Out seamlessly weaves its trenchant social critiques into a brilliantly effective and entertaining horror/comedy thrill ride.”
Manohla Dargis from The New York Times said: “Part of what makes Get Out both exciting and genuinely unsettling is how real life keeps asserting itself, scene after scene.”
Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal was also full of praise, calling it: “A memorable horror flick if ever there was one, Get Out starts with a great title and a promising idea – a black man's fear as he walks at night down a street in an affluent white suburb. Then it delivers on that promise with explosive brilliance.”
Unfortunately, while our stateside friends can dash to the cinema this weekend to see what all the fuss is about, we’re going to have to play the waiting game until March 17.
(Main image: Universal Pictures)