There is a lot that could be written about this movie.
But I don’t think I have the experience nor the knowledge to properly write about what this movie have to say about racism in the modern day and through the generations. And there will probably be better people out there that can talk about this with a more in-depth understanding (still hoping for that Film Crit Hulk article) , But what I can do is talk about this as a movie, and hot damn is this a good one.
I didn’t have too much previous exposure to Jordan Peele other than the occasional Key and Peele video link, but this movie has made me hugely interested in him as a director. I think Jordan can become one of the greats if he hasn’t already. And I’m looking forward to the tetralogy of integrated societal problems manifested as horror movies he has planned.
If I would assign one trait to Jordan as a director, I would say he that he can utilise brutally effective simplicity in his directing. Both in terms of visuals and story. It’s all the little things that are off that gives the movie its unsettling atmosphere. And I never believed that so much could be conveyed by just a shot of a phone not being on its charger, and there are not a lot of people that can create claustrophobia with wide shots in an open room.
I also want to give kudos to the actors. I haven’t seen much of any in the movie before but there isn’t a single weak link in the cast. Everyone did a stellar job and I will follow and hope that most of these people have a blooming career after this. I just don’t hope that any of these are actually already famous and I show my scrubness for not knowing. I was especially impressed by the main girl lead for the scene where she had to act that she act out convincing emotions in her voice while held an apathetic and dead face at the same time.
This movie has been labelled as a horror movie by a lot of people, but I have to disagree. This movie has just as much in common with horror as it has with comedies. I do think this movie is a beast of its own with no clear genre, or rather a mix containing a lot of them. But if I had to arbitrarily force this movie into a genre then I would say it’s a mystery suspense thriller with elements of both horror and comedy.
Horror comedy must be one of the hardest types of movies to get right. I don’t think there are any two genres more polarising and opposites in what they try to achieve. And when once a full moon we get a good horror comedy. It’s often at the expense of the horror. I absolutely love movies like Cabin in the woods, Ghostbusters and tremors, but I never found any of them scary even though they are fantastic movies and succeed at what they are trying to do. So I was very surprised on how well get out balances between comedy scenes of levitation and teeth grinding scenes of suspense and outright fear for the main character.
I could not write this article without talking about the ending. And don’t worry, I won’t spoil any huge story beats. But holy shit, I don’t think holding my first born baby for the first time will be as gratifying as the ending to this movie. And I want to thank Jordan for not going with the obvious ending. An interesting thing is that I don’t think he even had to go with the ending he lampooned to get out the message it would have sent, I think that just the fear of what I originally thought would happen was enough to send that message. So this way he could have his cake and eat it too by giving us a satisfying ending alongside the fear of what we worried would happen.
This is a fantastic movie where nothing wrong stick out for me, and I recommend anyone to check this movie out. If not for the social critique then for just a damn good movie.