Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
three months into 2017 and it’s continuing to shape up to be a paramount year for me and film: i’ve seen my first Scorsese film, i’m going to see my first Malick movie, i survived the second monstrosity in the 50 Shades of Abuse & Manipulation & Buttplugs saga, and NOW i’ve seen my first horror film.
and it was one of the best movie theater experiences i’ve ever had?
i went with more than 15 people. we filled up an entire row. i made jaie and henrie sit on either side of me, because they’ve already seen the movie. my heart was legitimately racing even before the trailers finished because i was so friggin nervous. part of my nerves had to do with whether or not my row of friends and me would be too annoying, too obnoxious, too loud: we’re all Big Fans of Film and a good number of them had already seen the movie, and they were all very excited for the people like me who hadn’t seen it, so i was worried about us laughing too often or me screaming too loud, etc.
it was fine. it was more than fine, actually, because our 10:30 crowd was amazing: the theater collectively cheered and laughed and screamed; we yipped and yawped like we should. i mean, i really don’t think i’ve ever been to a theater that had such an electric and reactive atmosphere. Get Out is a fantastically fun and tight movie in its own right — and i’m about to stop raving about my theater experience to talk about that in .02 seconds — but i am also very, very thankful for having experienced this in the way i did, with the people i did. also s/o to jaie and henrie, who not only held my hands, but let me bury myself into the crook of their arms when the violence started :’)
now, as for the actual film: i haven’t had this much fun watching a movie in YEARS. there’s so much hype around Get Out that i was worried it would inevitably not live up to whatever expectation-bar was imposed upon it. for the most part, it did, though: its weird and uncanny premise and plot work because the script is incredibly tight, the acting is nuanced, the cinematography is surprisingly and pleasantly stunning, and the tone shifts with a deft and trained ease.
the script: holy fuck, this film is quotable. people have been quoting it around me for weeks and i vaguely knew it was from this, but now i KNOW. beyond its golden one-liners and monologues, the writing is hyper self-aware; astutely critical of our society’s palpable and pressing racism; and so wonderfully layered. when we were walking back from the theater, we were piecing together all of the moments that foreshadowed or referenced one another, and christ, there’s a ton.
the acting: Daniel Kaluuya and LilRel Howery ground this film. their chemistry is fantastic and fun, and they communicate so much with even just a look that there’s no need for them to say anything (Kaluuya especially.) also??? the fact that Chris is really and truly a vulnerable character who gets to cry multiple times on screen is fucking fantastic. there’s a lot i want to say but i’m going to be late to work so tl;dr ask me about it or s/t
cinematography: look, i know i’m not horror movie expert, but WOW. i was not expecting to appreciate the cinematography as much as i did? the staging of the house was beautiful. the opening stretch from the “cold open” to the moment when the title (in that beautiful teal font) scrolls across the screen is delicious. the camerawork enhances the atmosphere of suspense, and it cleverly focuses on things you wouldn’t necessarily expect it to in order to convey subtext. so damn smart.
the tone shifts: !!!!!!!!! i feel like as good as this is, this is a terrible First Horror Movie, because goddamn did it set a bar really high for me to laugh AND be scared. although, as much as i did laugh, there are some genuinely terrifying moments. there may be one too many jump scares, but i’m okay with them for the most part because the real horror here are Get Out’s moments of psychological and existential dread and terror. with an exceptional fluidity, we move between thinking we know what’s going on, to laughing about “accidental racism” that is not at all accidental nor singular, to being spooked by a jump, to being genuinely frightened by the prospect of our own consciousness and having no idea what the next scene will reveal.
i figured out what was going on pretty early into the film — and maybe so did everyone else; i just know i saw a meme a few weeks ago and kind of had an idea what the meme was implying going into the movie, and then it was pretty quickly confirmed within the first act — for the bulk of the plot, but there were some genuine moments of wonderful and awesome surprise. there were some twists i wasn’t expecting, and then there were some twists on top of that. kevin (of the @kevinyang fame on here) pointed out that something that he considers to be an even more shocking ending than the one we got, and although i agree with him (and now i’m going to be thinking about why we DIDN’T get that ending for the next few weeks), i also found the ending very satisfying. and HOLY SHIT. the final act leading up to the end?! incredible. even though i think i was covering my eyes for at least 60% of it. still incredible.
overall, Get Out is a fucking fun and funny film, but oh boy, it’s also truly scary, and so beautiful. man, if i could rate my audience-theater experience, i’d give it a solid five and a half stars.