Get Out is the horror movie that we need right now. However, even if we were to disregard its exquisite timing, it would still go down as one of the most creepy and twisted horror films I’ve ever seen as it hangs on the edge of a very real racial nightmare that for some is an everyday reality. To describe the plot, it’s basically a much darker, racially-charged Meet the Parents aimed at upper-middle class liberals. You know the type: the ones who are so deluded in their racism that they have even convinced themselves that they aren’t racist, yet can’t help but blurting out offhand comments when around anyone that doesn’t happen to be white.
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut has gone down a storm with the critics and rightly so. He cleverly points out that even though society openly ‘accepts’ other races, their lack of understanding and cultural experience makes them feel uncomfortable with race divisions. This is shown through the many throwaway comments throughout the film such as: ‘I’d have voted for Obama a third time if I could’ (which is basically the equivalent to saying ‘I’m not racist because I have a black mate’). These unnecessary comments create an eery vibe and make Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and the viewer cringe.
Peele presents a type of racism we’re not used to seeing so openly in the media. It’s not hateful speech from lower members of society or open bigots, allowing us to fall free from blame. This type of racism comes from the top – something we normally view in a disguised format. And this time there’s no hiding for the liberals who have been targeted. The envious form of racism from a wealthy elite sends shivers down your spine.
Chris is the perfect boyfriend to his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams) and so he is more than happy to go visit her family out in the sticks, despite pointing out the very real chance that they may not be too thrilled by his skin colour.
From the beginning things seem off and Chris recognises that he’s not exactly going to be best mates with the in-laws, but as the film progresses things get darker.
The Williams’ family have an old school black maid and gardener who create an ominous feel reminiscent of a by-gone time, but Chris just frowns and tries to look through the obvious awkwardness. But when he has a late night meeting with Missy (Catherine Keener), shit gets even weirder.
By the time we get to the dinner party we’re internally screaming the film’s title at Chris. Throughout the event these older, rich folk even utter comments mildly suggesting reverse racism now dominates society as they ironically sip on champagne and discuss golfing trips. At every new meeting Chris can’t seem to escape the issue of race even though the group are so welcoming towards him.
These people represent a society that steals from black culture while demeaning it with damaging stereotypes at the same time. They want to stand on their pedestals and pick and take without experiencing oppression and the discrimination that they themselves so readily cast.
Get Out is a good watch as it intertwines horrors of humanity and the current society with comedic undertones offering light relief and making it feel that little bit more like real life. Although it’s incredibly gory and jumpy in parts, it’s impossible to look away.
Peele has turned racial anxiety into true horror. The jokes, uneasiness and very believable opinions in a society prone to casual racism work together to shock and scare the viewer.
He makes us self-examine ourselves and consider that even if we believe that we treat others the same, we can never fully comprehend cultural differences and ultimately, it is not our role, as we sit in our privileged positions, to decide that society is now equal.
The very fact that a shiver shook throughout the room when the police car turned up rather than the usual feeling of relief pretty much sums up the society we live in.