Since it was released to theaters in March of 2017, Get Out has been wowing audiences. I knew this was the sort of film full of surprises, so I made sure to avoid any spoilers until I was ready to see it and only knew how it was described to me: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner turned into a horror movie. That sums it up pretty well, but there is so much more to Get Out.
Writer and rookie director Jordan Peele has created here is a film full of rich symbolism about 21st century racism. While the big R word can scare some people away, don’t let it deter you. The racism in this film lingers in the air like humidity making the characters sweat. Is this feeling of dread just the socially awkward bumps in the road or something more sinister? Using this idea, the film becomes very entertaining and wonderfully suspenseful.
The opening scene sets the tone for this film quickly. We see a young black man walking down a suburban neighborhood sidewalk. He’s talking on his phone about how out of place he feels there. As soon as he hangs up, a white car starts following him, it is obvious. The young man turns around, not wanting to cause any trouble and a few seconds later, a man puts him in a headlock and throws him in the back of the car. It all happens so quickly, it comes as a shock. But the message is clear: simply being black in a white neighborhood is dangerous.
The cast sets up the premise quickly. We have our star, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer who is about to go out of town with his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), to meet her family. His friend, and bit of comic relief, Rod (LilRel Howery) , is watching his dog. Rose’s family live in a beautiful house on a secluded lake and her parents both seem like picture of progressive, educated upper class white folk. Rose’s father gushes over Obama, seems like the thing to say to his daughter’s black boyfriend, right?
It turns out, this weekend is the annual big party the family throws, just like Rose’s late grandparents did. What was already a awkward weekend for Chris looks like it’s about to be cranked up to ten, and then a serious turn takes this story from stressful to downright scary. I dare not ruin such a perfect movie moment.
Another early scene that becomes full of symbolism is when Rose and Chris hit a deer while driving to the parents’ home. First of all, dead animals are a huge bad omen and often show up in the start of horror movies, but this one holds a lot more weight than the dead armadillo from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Chris goes to check on the deer, while Rose is more concerned with the car. It’s a doe, dying on the side of the road. Later, we see how this mirrors a painful memory for Chris that he reveals in a weak moment, just before the big turn of the story.
Get Out is nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Jordan Peele has earned his first nomination for best director, for the first feature film he has ever directed! Daniel Kaluuya is nominated for lead actor for his spellbinding performance that drives this film. Get Out is also nominated for original screenplay, also written by Peele.
There is so much I want to discuss about this movie, but so much that I don’t want to spoil. Honestly, seeing Get Out spoiler free makes it so amazing, you will never see some of these twists coming. I imagine just being black in a room full of rich white people can be scary, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Get Out is a horror film that feels fresh and suspenseful until the very end. You don’t want to miss out.
“Oh, white girls. They get you every time.”