Get Out (2017)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Originally posted on Asking When.


I’m going to be completely honest and say that Get Out was unlike any other movie I’ve ever seen. It was comical and spine-chilling and unsettling all while delivering a piercing commentary on racism. Many movies today that tackle racism are historical, creating a bit of a divide between the reality and the film, the present and the past. This movie brilliantly weaves reality and story together, making the whole film even more terrifying because it hits closer to home.




Get Out is exponentially unsettling, every scene just a little bit more off than the last. It starts off with a relatively normal conversation between Chris Washington and his girlfriend, Rose, about his nervousness in meeting her parents for the first time, asking, “Do they know I’m black?” Since he loves his girlfriend he figures he can survive a short trip to meet her family, even though he’s rightfully nervous about how a crowd of white people will react to seeing the two of them together.

Although the initial meeting of the Armitage family was nothing less than warm and welcoming, there’s still something off. The help. Walter and Georgina are the only black people in miles, and at first that calmed Chris’ nerves – until he spoke to them. Walter and Georgina were hyper-polite and almost robotic in the way they spoke with him. As we get more settled into the Armitage family home, we see how Rose’s parents try to be the “color-blind” type of accepting while bringing up topics that they wouldn’t talk about if Chris was white. Things get even more strange when he’s brought into Mrs. Armitage’s office and undergoes hypnosis, landing him in “the sunken place.” Chris, of course, is obligated to just smile and nod, checking in with Rose or his proud TSA buddy to make sure that he isn’t overreacting.

Things take a turn at the annual gathering, where there’s one other “brother” there, the man we saw getting abducted in the opening scene. Something about the man strikes a match in his head, an itch of curiosity, and flicker of familiarity. He knows this man, he’s seen him before, so he tries to sneak a picture and send to his friend to do some investigating. For whatever reason, the flash sets something off in the familiar man, luring Andre out of “the sunken place” long enough to warn Chris – get out.

peele-getout.jpg


This is no longer an unsettling, eerie film. When Chris wakes up in a chair that he’s strapped to, this has developed into a full-on horror. If he doesn’t fight, he’s going to die. If he doesn’t get out, he’s going to die. Or, go to “the sunken place” for the rest of his life while someone else takes control. So he fights, and in order to escape, he has to kill. The scenes that follow his escape from the chair are so intense and jarring that people in the theater (myself included) cheered when he had to murder the white people that manipulated, captured, hypnotized, and attempted to kill him. He survived until the roll of the credits, something that many other people of color in many other white-casted movies can’t say.

We have a few heart-stopping moments of doubt when the blue and red lights flash on Chris’ face that the ending will not be a happy one. Just like the cop did in the beginning, this cop was surely going to be sure that Chris is to blame for the horrors that occurred that night. Luckily, those doubts are shot down by the familiar face of Chris’ friend.

Get Out is a film that will be interpreted in different ways by white and black people, but the underlying discomfort and anxiety that’s woven through the entire story from the very beginning is something that is felt by every viewer. Therefore, this film does what it’s meant to do. It goes deeper than the average thriller plot-line, it dives into the fact that in our reality, in our society, black people have never been able to live without that discomfort.

Post a Comment

© Abbie Bosworth. Design by FCD.