A lot of hype has centered around the film Get Out since its theatrical release on February 24th. The controversial film has received mostly positive reviews from critics and an equally positive reaction from the movie-going public. As a result, I became more and more eager to see this movie and judge for myself. Now, upon seeing it, I must say I was impressed.
Get Out tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), an interracial couple travelling to Rose’s parent’s house for a formal introduction of her family to her new beau. For some people, this situation could sound like a horror film in itself – not just because of the racial component, but also because simply meeting your significant other’s family for the first time can be a highly nerve racking experience.
Once they arrive, Chris quickly feels uncomfortable in his surroundings and observes mysterious behaviors by both Rose’s family and their housekeepers. Rose’s mother asks him weird questions and tries hypnotizing him, her father is over the top, her brother is a drunken weirdo, and the groundkeepers (who happen to be black) exhibit strange behavior and come off as modern day slaves.
Upon noticing all this, Chris mentions his displeasures with Rose, who in an effort to support her man, decides to tell her family the two of them are leaving.
If only it were that easy.
As you can imagine, from that point on, the movie features exciting twists and quick thrills that leave you on the edge of your seat. But there’s so much more to this movie than what you see on the surface. More than anything, I was impressed at Jordan Peele’s script and direction. The long-time comedian and actor wrote a highly intelligent and courageous script to go along with successfully bringing the audience into a deep, hypnotic world.
Speaking of this deep, hypnotic world, let’s get into the deep stuff.
I like to think that the audience of my site is highly intelligent, but if you don’t understand the racial undertones in this movie, then you are extremely naïve. The reason this script is so original and incredible is because Jordan Peele managed to create a social message through the depths of a unique horror story. This is where the true success of the movie takes place.
I didn’t see Get Out as a true horror film, but rather as a deep metaphor to take a look at where we are with race relations in America through the eyes of the horror genre. Peele paints a picture that Black America is hypnotized by society to make sure we conform into our stereotypes. Unfortunately, there are some people in this world on all sides who externally display tolerance and peace towards one another, but still think in stereotypes internally. There are some people who mask their true feelings for a race of people with a fake yearning for real equality.
For example, I can recall a time when I overheard a group of white females talking and overheard one say “I would never marry a black man, but I’d love to have a mixed baby.” I’ve also heard “I don’t care if he can read or write, as long as he can win games for our team.” Those kinds of comments still come out of some people’s mouths and unfortunately still retard the process of eliminating backdoor racism.
To add to the genius of the script, although the racial metaphors are definitely there, I also felt like Peele was relaying a message (specifically from the scene at the end) that people in general covet what others have and they themselves don’t. Also, I dont think this film is by any means a “wake up black people!” battle cry, but rather a wake up call to us all to eliminate injustices against anyone and everyone everywhere. Peele, like myself, is a mixed race person and I’m sure his experiences as such were a huge influence on him to create a story like this.
As far as the movie itself is concerned (before this review turns into a sociology piece), I found the twists to be relatively predictable. Although the movie does create a tense environment, I wouldn’t say it is truly “scary.” Aside from the already mentioned superb writing, the acting was terrific and realistic as well. I don’t remember seeing any cheesy horror movie moments throughout this picture.
Get Out is a bold, hybrid-type film. It reminds me of The Stepford Wives meets 12 Years a Slave, if you can believe that. It ignites a different sort of fear. It should be remembered and viewed more as a social message than a horror movie. The success in this movie mainly comes from its subliminal content. Jordan Peele gave us a horror film that breaks away from the other stereotypical films of its genre. It is scary in a totally different context. I can’t believe I am saying this about a movie released in February, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Peele land an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. With that said, Mr. Peele, I can’t wait to see what you can come up with next.
MATTER RATING: 7/10
OSCAR SCALE: 7/10 (specifically for Original Screenplay)
BY: CHRIS GUEST