Let's Talk About "Get Out"

The first preview that was released for “Get Out” immediately went viral. Ironically it was thought to be another funny IG-like video rather than an actual movie, so you can imagine how people would react when they realized that it was a real film that would actually be released to theaters. Not only was it released to theaters this controversial film received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and received the seal of approval from the highly critical “Black Twitter.” The premise of the film racism, a subject that has always been the elephant in the room and most recently the topic of discussion. Jordan Peele comments in an interview on Screen Junkies News suggesting that the people wanted us to believe that we were in a post-racial society because we had a black president and it was taboo to talk about race because of it. “Get Out” is a satirical horror film about racism written and directed by Jordan Peele. Extra emphasis on satire, because the few that are disappointed by the film most likely went it with their mind set on it being an actual horror film. Jordan Peele created a clever way to express modern day racism in a “post-racial” America. He hit the proverbial nail on the head, even putting his lead character Chris Washington in some of the most awkwardly relatable situations black people encounter in some of their interactions with white people. “Get Out’s” intention isn’t to shame all white people and call them all racist but instead create a platform to prompt the uncomfortable conversation about racism.

Following the horror-like opening scene with Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield the audience is serenaded with Childish Gambino’s “Red Bone” a song Jordan Peele chose because of the underlying message. Meanwhile Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer and his girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) are packing for a weekend at her parents Country house. Meeting the parents is always a nerve wrecking experience, but Chris’ concerns lie with whether or not Allison disclosed the fact that he is black.  When they arrive to the country house Chris is greeted with an awkward but warm welcome by Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) a hypnotherapist and Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) a Neuro brain surgeon. You know those awkward introductions where white people sometimes spew out unwarranted statements like “I voted for Obama” to assimilate and try to appeal as anti-racist a lot of that occurred. The tour through the house and meeting the socially awkward groundskeeper and maid amplified his growing skepticism about the trip. It’s like black people were born with Spidey senses when they know something is not right. Chris’ periodic phone calls to his best friend Rod Williams played by Lil Rel Howery, top flight TSA security isn’t comforting him from his suspicions either. He kind of reminds the audience of the loud person you hear in a horror movie foreshadowing events and yelling at the screen “run fool they gone kill you.” The film goes on and Chris realizes that something is off with the slave-like black house staff and Allison’s parents. As if Chris wasn’t already uncomfortable enough, he is put in an even more bizarre situation as he becomes the focal point of attention in the predominantly white annual party the Armitage family hosts at their home. Chris’ interactions with the house guests was an ingenious way to subliminally imply how white people are comfortable appreciating black culture, appearance, artistic abilities but not black people themselves. The film then goes on to show a secret auction of Chris while he is away on a walk with Allison. *Spoiler Alert* Chris is hypnotized and subdued and it is revealed that there is an auction for one lucky family member to be able to go under a partial brain transplant so that they can inhabit the rich skinned, physically capable, artistic black man. Now we know that this can’t necessarily happen in real life. White people aren’t going around kidnapping and hypnotizing black people to inhabit their bodies and turn them into slaves or sex slaves for that matter. For one, that shit is just not going down. Secondly, black people have watched enough scary movies to know not to put ourselves in the typical scary movie situation like the one token black person who gets killed off immediately. Hypnotism and the partial brain transplant is to symbolize how white precedence works, and how white people are more accepting of black culture, physical attributes, and artistic abilities than black people as a whole. The ultimate plot twist is towards the end of the movie. More importantly, it strays away from the stereotypical fatal ending for the black person in the horror film and creates an entirely new narrative.

If you have seen or plan to see “Get Out” know that you will be accompanied with a diverse crowd. You would think that the controversial theme would deter white people from going to see this film, but they’re right alongside you laughing at the racy jokes and on the edge of their seats during the suspenseful scenes in the movie. People not being blatantly racist does not mean racism doesn’t exist and Jordan Peele succeeds with capturing this idealism in “Get Out.” Aside from raking in 30 million in the box office he has bloggers, writers, celebrities, and normal citizens all talking. Whether it’s a conversation of how we interpret the highly symbolic, metaphoric, satirical film or racism in general. “Get Out” is a movie that we all needed, not to point fingers but to have a discussion on how we got here, and where do we go from here?

-Justina

Justina Hay