Horror movies lately have left me with nothing but disappointment and wanting more depth, excitement, or simply something different. While many films this year have touched on the racial tensions that are alive in the U.S, it is a topic that has gone largely untouched by horror films. But this year’s Get Out gives a much-needed fresh meaning and substance to the horror genre.
Playing “Redbone” by Childish Gambino in the opening scene sets the tone of the movie off right. With lyrics like “stay woke,” it’s no coincidence this song was chosen to foreshadow the plot of the movie. The movie is set in New York and centers around an interracial couple, Rose & Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Alison Williams. They’ve been dating for four months and figure it’s time for Chris to meet Rose’s parents. Rose tells Chris that her parents don’t know Chris is a black man. Chris obviously feels uneasy about this, but Rose reassures him he has nothing to worry about. So, they set off to the parent’s house… from this point, the movie is filled with twists and turns and to say much more about the storyline would be to spoil the movie and the after-thoughts it evokes. Let’s step back and take a look at the movie in its entirety.
With this film, he has created a nuanced interpretation of everyday racial tensions that ends up driving the film past the threshold of modern day art
Producer, Peele is known for being a satirical genius. With Get Out, he utilizes his humor to make observations about our preconceived notions about each other, specifically when it comes to race. What follows can only be compared to the worst acid trip of your life. Whenever Peele uses the disconnect caused by underlying racial issues is when Get Out is at its scariest and sometimes funniest points.
Jordan Peele weaves the insidiousness of racial microaggressions into a terrifying and seriously creepy horror narrative. Between casual racists remarks at gatherings to creating that simple feeling of “something is off,” the movie as a whole is filled with a plethora of subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages. These messages convey not just the day to day experiences African Americans face in America today, but also tell a deeper tale of the black identity African Americans have lost.
The overall message, feel and direction Peele creates is so well executed that I was surprised to discover this was the first movie he’s produced. The actors are phenomenal, the music is well crafted and timed, and the cinematography is beautiful. Peele curated the perfect elements for an amazing horror film all while being intelligent about the content. With this film, he has created a nuanced interpretation of everyday racial tensions that ends up driving the film past the threshold of modern day art. It is filmmaking at its finest. Once you start breaking down all the hidden messages, it becomes impossible to avoid the deep and disquieting truths that drive our fears and propel us to arrive at the unsavory conclusions we continuously (and repeatedly) discover.
Overall, my only complaint is that I wish it was a longer film. This movie does something no horror movie has done in a while: provoke thought and conversation. Go see it and discuss in the comments below!