Film Fridays: Get Out

Note: This contains spoilers.

 

It’s rare for a thriller to be equally terrifying and hilarious. But Get Out accomplishes just that.

Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele, is a horror film that revolves around couple Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams); Chris is black and Rose is white, and is worth mentioning as the movie is an on-point criticism of modern-day racism.

Rose invites Chris on a weekend getaway to her parents’ house, which is in the middle of tree-enshrouded nowhere. Chris is apprehensive and asks if her parents know he’s black. Rose brushes him off and says her parents aren’t racist and that “they would have voted for Obama for a third term.” Anyone who’s watched the movie trailer knows that this isn’t true, and that Chris is heading into danger.

Rose’s parents Dean and Missy Armitage appear friendly at first and are dressed in clothing that gives off liberal urbanite vibes. Dean looks a bit like Steve Jobs with his thick black frames and turtleneck and Missy looks like an ex-hippy with her long curly hair, flowing clothes and chunky jewelry. Dean is a brain surgeon and Missy is a therapist with expertise in hypnosis — details that have scary prevalence later in the film.

 

When Chris meets the Armitage’s groundskeeper, Walter, and their housekeeper, Georgina (both whom are black), Chris becomes suspicious as they both act odd and speak with outdated, colonial English. When Chris goes in to pound Walter’s fist in greeting, Walter grabs his fist as if going for a handshake. The moment is awkward (the theatre’s audience all laughed at Walter’s gaffe), and is when Chris realizes that something is definitely not right with Walter and Georgina.

Without going into the details, the Armitages aren’t the accepting individuals they first claimed to be, and Chris becomes a target for danger because of his skin colour. It’s also worth mentioning that black individuals have been going missing in the Armitage’s nearby neighbourhoods for quite some time.

Every event and detail in the film is pronounced and exaggerated. For instance, the film has a classic horror score, and includes instances where someone will dart in and out of camera view in the background, and the music will sharply crescendo to make you jump. Details like these are so deliberate that it appears like the film is using cliched horror tropes in a scary yet ironic way. And at these heightened points of terror, a character will sometimes utter a perfect one-liner that will have the entire theatre laughing.

As well, each scene foreshadows upcoming revelations. I would recommend viewers to pay close attention to the details in the first half of the movie.

The most prominent aspect of the film of course is its criticism on racism. The backyard party scene encapsulates this idea regarding how many white people act racist without their own knowledge.

Chris is one of the only black individuals at the party; the majority are wealthy, middle-aged and white. When Rose introduces Chris to many of the party’s attendees, they all make comments (like saying how “black is in fashion,” saying how strong his muscles are or as one woman crudely put it, “it is true what they say?” regarding black men being better in bed).

In attempt to connect with Chris, their comments show that they see the colour of his skin first before they see him as a person. The comment, “I would have voted for Obama for a third term” is a perfect example of this ignorance, and even though it is said with good intentions, it’s still an unnecessary comment that others Chris.

Lastly, Get Out catches viewers in their own knowledge of social prejudices. In one of the best scenes, Chris is in the middle of a bloody mess when a police car pulls up. Everyone in the theatre groaned in frustration because they assumed Chris would be viewed as guilty by the white police officer. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

 

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