There is a thin line between comedy and horror, and Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele walks right down it, even bringing race into the mix. Maybe you have seen the trailer, maybe you have heard the hype– the new movie Get Out is what I would call bold. Perhaps that is the wrong word to describe it, but that was my personal experience. I want to add a disclaimer before you continue reading this article: I am a white female. I know that if you are not a white female and you see this movie, you will have an extremely different view, perspective, and interpretation. Another disclaimer, I’ve already seen it twice.
Without giving away any plot spoilers, Peele tells a story of an interracial couple. Rose is the girlfriend (played by Allison Williams from Girls), and she says she has never dated a black guy before. Her boyfriend Chris (played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya), believes her. The movie opens with the couple preparing to visit Rose’s parents upstate for the weekend. Once they get to her house, however, things seem to get weirder and weirder.
This movie was a masterpiece, and I believe it will change the way horror movies are constructed. Jordan Peele created a vehicle to carry his creepy comical vision to the audience. For me, this movie made me leave with more questions in my head, and while it did not change the way I see the world, it did make me more observant to the things that go on around me.
Get Out has already been extremely successful in so many measurable ways. Notably, when it came out, it received 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and has held a rating of 99% in following weeks, which seems impressive, if you ask me. The budget for this film was a mere $5 million dollars; in these days, that’s simply movie pocket change. Since it was released just over a month ago on February 24th, it has grossed over $150 million dollars in the United States alone, and $33.337 million were earned in the film’s opening weekend. It has also broken and set a new record as the “highest-grossing movie ever for a feature debut for a writer/director of an original screenplay,” according to Forbes. This record was previously held by Blair Witch Project, which made $140 million.
While the movie has already become socially iconic, it has received some criticism. During a radio interview with Hot 97.1, Samuel L Jackson questioned, “what the movie would have been with an American brother who really feels that.” I personally feel that Kaluuya is an amazing actor who portrays a heroic antagonist and was cast for the role because of the way he was able to provoke the audience, not for how the color of his skin affects his behavior (see disclaimer). Thinking about Jackson’s comment in a historical context, Loving vs Virginia, the Supreme Court case that reversed all laws prohibiting interracial marriage, was only 50 years ago. In essence, interracial marriages have only been legal and “socially acceptable” for two generations.
Get Out is freaky because of its horror movie plot, it is groundbreaking because of the way it portrays race and racism, and it is funny because you can’t help but to yell at the screen. It is a conversation piece to start a discussion about microaggressions and racism. It is easily the best movie of 2017 so far, and if you have not seen it yet you need to GET OUT and do so.