‘Get Out’ Is An Intelligent Narrative Within A Body of the Horror Genre

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10 Overall Score

The opening moments of Get Out begin with Andre “Logan” Hayworth (LaKeith Stanfield) walking through a suburban town speaking to his friend on the phone about how uneasy he felt. From there, a white car pulls alongside him and follows him where he immediately tries to change his route. Within the time frame of the release of the movie, it was the 5th anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, and in this particular scene, it is a live dramatization of how black males feel in neighborhoods that they supposably do not “belong” in.

There’s been an ongoing gag that in horror movies about the black guy always dying first – in some instances, during the opening credits. Get Out is not your prototypical horror movie. It switches the narrative of the black male character in horror movies. Usually, black characters are portrayed as the comic relief in a horror setting. Get Out utilizes Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) as a metaphor for the fears of black men in today’s America.

It’s very difficult to combine horror and statements about society in an effective manner where all of the theme uniformly fit between plot and message. 1978’s The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and 1988’s They Live are examples of how directors managed to work in a anti-conformist message. John Carpenter was speaking more about Reagan’s America with They Live and Philip Kaufman used IOTBS in a broader respect.

The overall story starts with Chris and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) gearing up for a weekend where he is about to meet her parents. The main question is brought up, “Do you parents know I’m black?” There’s a generational crossroads that is constantly at work during this movie where the younger generation may not think of interracial couples in terms of color, but there’s a fear of that when it comes to the older generation. Once they go to the house, you get a sense that something is off. The movie plays upon themes from 1973’s The Wicker Man and 1975’s The Stepford Wives, but modernizes them to reflect present-day struggles.

Director Jordan Peele uses both humor and horror to give voices to racial commentary in a both effective and staunch manner. Get Out addresses a lot of the racial conversations and insights that are often afraid to be brought up. Given our current political platform, discussions concerning racism are often polarized to the point of impasse. Art and creativity can often penetrate where conversations cannot.

For example, in the middle of the movie, Chris and Rose speak to Rose’s confidants at a family party. Within in the movie, you see that Chris is an accomplished photographer, but even with a camera around his neck, some of the typical modes of conversation concerning black men are brought up. (“Hey, how about that Tiger Woods? “Boy, he sure is strong, he also probably has a big “wink”.) The Invasion of the Body Snatchers motif comes up again with a modern spin as you dig into the overall plot line and venture into the “ah ha!” moment.

There’s a duality in what the older white generation sees as the “proper” black person. Prim, proper, and speaking a certain way is what is preferred. This also catches an eye speaking into what “type” of black person was searched to be the next transplant. Later in the movie, Rose looks up NCAA athletes, again, is another poignant critique on how black males are viewed. This has been a prevalent stereotype in the way that young black men are more looked upon for the brawn and not the brains.

Get Out may be effective because the consensus of the masses may not in our news mediums. The way to get to minds and hearts may be our theaters and wireless headphones. Sometimes, art has to dare to show the ugly epithets and passed down lines of thinking that are no longer applicable. Groups such as Black Lives Matter may get their messages misconstrued or warped because to people on the outside, they do not feel inclusive. Those movements not only say that everyone has a purpose, but to include black people in that purpose as well.

In a movie genre that is always trying to conjure ways to scare you, maybe the scariest thing in the world is the truth. The uncomfortable conversations or the similes thrown out that are meant to break the ice, but just come off cold. There are some nods to conventional horror towards the end of the movie, but overall, through humor and suspense, Get Out is the view through the eyes of minorities that America needs in an almost two hour crash course of master class.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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