Sixteen years ago, there was a tremendous upswing in white women dating black men because Save the Last Dance made it this taboo, edgy thing to do. Sixteen years ago, we — the collective white population — were marginally less inane.
Racism is unfortunately alive and well, even now, in 2017. Ruminate on that a moment. There are places in modern-day society that, if they had their druthers, would still be using separate drinking fountains. Sadly, racism may never die the horrible death it deserves to.
Get Out calls attention to some of society’s greatest downfalls; our unwillingness to break patterns and behaviors that have existed for hundreds of years just because some guys thought they were a good idea. Imagine that: white men who think they are fair and just, doing what they believe to be right, at the sheer horror of everyone else. Sad!
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is going to meet his girlfriend Rose’s (Alison Williams) family for the first time. He’s nervous because her family is white, he is black, and she hasn’t mentioned that to them. The idea that the color of a person’s skin still plays a role in how they are treated by anyone else is appalling at best, but it’s a persistent issue that manages to continue rearing its ugly head. It’s like the white boss who meets all of his white employees with a generic, colloquial greeting, then fist bumps the black guy and says, “Wassup?!”
Rose assures Chris that everything will be fine by telling him that her dad would’ve voted for Barack Obama a third time if he could have. Arriving at the house, he notices that all of the hired help are also black. Chris meets Rose’s parents, Dean and Missy Armitage (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener, respectively) and, outside of a couple of quips from her father — who I did NOT know was played by Bradley Whitford — the visit appears to be quite pleasant if not as awkward as those things usually are.
What Rose and Chris didn’t know was that the weekend of their stay was the same weekend of this big party Dean and Missy throw every year. This meant that all of The Armitage’s whitebread friends would be there as well. At a new level of unease, Chris weathers the storm as best he can before having a run-in with the maid, Georgina (Betty Gabriel). Her voice tells him that everything is a-ok, but her eyes say something very different; troubling.
There is a significance to Chris’s interactions with each member of the household. This is important to remember and includes keys you’ll need to open new subliminal doors along the way.
Jordan Peele, known primarily for being a funny guy, hit on some truths in this film. He brings to light a subject that makes people as uncomfortable as abortion. Or Voldemort. Why are we still paying credence to the idea that the south will rise again? Where have we gone so drastically wrong that the idea of supremacy still holds any water? What kind of idiot addresses a room full of African-Americans as “you people“?
Aside from the aggressively topical message of the film, it’s performed quite well and has a score composed by Michael Abels that could not be more felicitous. Peele said, “I wanted Michael Abels, who did the score, to create something that felt like it lived in this absence of hope but still had [black roots].” and I believe Abels thoroughly nailed it.
Peele’s accomplished a real feat with Get Out, putting heaps of subtext into this picture while methodically illustrating a clear and concise point: we need to do better. Not just white people, but mostly white people. There is a problem that is either being ignored or championed.
The film itself — while maintaining its creep factor — brings an unsurprising jocularity. It is Jordan Peele, after all. That said, there’s — also unsurprisingly — an effortless brilliance here; it’s got a keen wit and intellect that has Peele all over it. It’s kinda like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, only with more murder.
I say, see this movie. I say that as a horror junkie, but also a cinephile who just really enjoys quality. Once you’ve seen it, check out this neat listicle that you should absolutely not look at until you’ve seen it. Beware: this movie redefines the standard for most annoying sound in the world set by Dumb and Dumber. Enjoy!