Get Out was released on DVD earlier this week so this is our chance to revisit the movie and the musings/analysis I didn’t post three months ago…
After posting how much I loved Get Out back during its initial release in February, a Facebook friend asked if it was as scary as the previews made it seem. I almost told her, “if you’re black, yes.” There would’ve been no shade in the statement…just truth. Aside from the sinister premise, the movie is a frighteningly accurate representation of the daily microaggressions black people (in this case, black men) experience at the hands of non-black people (particularly, white people).
If you’ve been under a rock and haven’t heard by now, Get Out is the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a black man who is meeting the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), for the first time and quickly discovering that things aren’t quite what they seem. There’s so much going on in this film! There’s performative allyship, sealioning, concern trolling, and of course, gaslighting (the obliviousness that white people often display whenever something overtly racial happens to a person of color).
I’ve had several conversations with black people about the movie in the months since its premiere and we’ve discussed exactly when we knew Rose was in on the plan (does she know what her parents are up to?), all of the racially charged questions and statements made by the people surrounding Chris, the weird black people Chris meets. But it was seeing a fictional character interact with whiteness in the same way that real people of color do on a daily basis that chilled me to the bone. The movie gave stunning clarity to how POC are taught to trick ourselves into believing that the people who perform their liberalism, their guilt, and their progressiveness for us actually have some hope of ever understanding (or even truly want to understand) what we go through on a regular basis. That was the most terrifying aspect of the movie for me.
I don’t usually see movies like this in the theater. I’m a chicken and as such, I tend to watch scary movies in the comfort of my own home where I can hit pause whenever it gets to be too much. But I’ve always appreciated and been interested in the social commentary hiding inside of well-done horror films (i.e., Dawn of the Dead = critique of consumerism, Candyman = critique of gentrification, Poltergeist = critique of suburbanization). With Get Out, it was interesting to see a director get his points across without having to hide it behind made-up monsters; all of Jordan Peele’s monsters are real.