I wish I would have had the time to see the Jordan Peele horror film in the theatre, but I just didn't. I'm a big fan of good horror in the sub $10M range, and Get Out certainly fits that bill. It was shot for only $4.5M, and grossed $254M worldwide. We've seen a few of these super-successful lower-budget horror films as of late, and I say keep them coming.
There are many things I love about this film, and one pretty major thing I didn't like at all. The script is terrific. It's creepy throughout. It's well written to be done on a very modest budget, with limited locations and characters. It gives the actors moments to shine. And they do, as the film is well cast. Like any great horror film, it starts slow and innocent, and ends up in a satisfying blood bath. Jordan Peele wrote a fantastic story with engaging characters.
But, the direction is pretty mediocre. Peele does what I absolutely abhor: he shoots everything too close. This makes the film look and feel cheap, when it need not be. The actors rarely have enough room to take full advantage of setting as the camera is stuck on MCU's and CU's far too often. Some of blocking and editing is clunky, especially in key moments in the third act. For a script that wasn't this good, I wouldn't have minded it so much. But this script deserved better.
I still rate this film highly, and strongly recommend it. It's a very good horror film. But it would have worked stronger had it been crafted better. This film screams 'first-time director.' And there's the rub: you have to learn by doing, and I'm sure that Jordan Peele will get much better at directing in time.
I hope the hell that he continues to do horror. Peele will probably move on to bigger budget dramatic stuff, which is fine, but it sure would be nice if he kept the horror films coming as well. I want to see where he can go from here.
If you haven't seen it yet, watch Get Out, but taper your expectations. The 99% RT score is a bit too high. That being said, it's well worth a watch, because it does have a frightening vibe throughout, and in the horror genre, that's what counts.
Jon David Rosten, author of
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