All Joking Aside: Get Out (2017)

As a white guy I can’t actually know what it is like for a black person living in America; I can only imagine and even then only in a very limited way. I understand inequality. I understand the unspoken caste system masked behind the hypocritical rhetoric that proclaims: “freedom for all.” I understand that everyone falls somewhere in the continuum of haves and have nots, with black Americans making up a disproportionate number of the have nots. Understanding these is Get Out‘s starting gate.

At the most basic level Get Out is summed up in the line: “If there’s too many white people I get nervous.” Everyone can relate to the general nervousness that comes from being in a completely foreign situation or being surrounded by people one is not familiar with, but that feeling is amplified in Get Out because of the hidden racism throughout America. It is cunning and insidious, a gas-lighting that has black Americans constantly questioning everyone and everything—a state of anxiety where spidey senses are constantly pinging!

Sounds like hell, huh?

Follow someone in that situation around for a day and you’d have a damn good psychological thriller. That’s what the trailer suggests. Yet, Jordan Peele transends a black experience thriller by embracing his inner horror geek. Get Out brings some Twilight Zone/George Romero/Stephen King shit. That next level Peele creates is like getting your pizza delivered quickly enough that it’s still gooey-perfect, like it was walked over from next door, and there’s a free slice of fried pie with ice cream you weren’t expecting.

Get Out isn’t perfect, in fact it’s pretty predictable, but that works in its favor rather than against it. With all the gimmicks used to lure audiences into movies today, a good, straight forward story is like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. While that’s all fine and good, Get Out is more than just a well executed story, it uses the conventions to lull you into a sense of complacency and then plays with with those expectations. It is definitely a film that asks for multiple viewings to “catch” all the little cues it planted along the way.

Bottom line, Get Out is a great horror flick that will have you wanting to call out the titular line multiple time—but don’t. First, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) can’t hear you. I mean, come on, it’s a movie people (although, getting so lost in a movie that you talk back to it speaks to how good a job it’s doing, right?). Second, even if he could hear your warning, heeding it would ruin the film, and that would just be horrible.

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