After ‘Get Out,’ you’ll never look at white people with tea cups the same way
April 6, 2017
Filed under A & E
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You don’t see black people in horror movies. In the case of the winter thriller/comedy/horror flick “Get Out,” you still don’t. This movie is most appropriately defined as comedic thriller. The continuous shift from hilarious stomach-clenching scenes made up of one liners to completely disturbing scenes makes this film arguably deserving of its 99 percent fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating.
With a $4 million budget, this movie does not splurge on music, and the final editing. Instead the money seems to have gone towards casting.
The main character, Chris, played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya, is a black boy-next-door photographer. Chris is thrown into the interracial relationship world, made of nervous smiles and cliche racist jabs, when he goes to his white girlfriend’s parents’ house in the middle of the woods for the weekend.
If you’ve seen your fair share of slasher films in the woods, you think you know how this story ends.
But with each twist and turn you get deeper into a reality that is inconceivable to imagine. Chris’s girlfriend, Rose, played by Allison Williams, starts off as the most loveable character, arguably more than Chris. Later in the movie you find yourself awaiting her demise.
Despite falling into the slasher category, the most intense scenes in “Get Out” aren’t fast-paced getaway scenes. The wholly uncomfortable, gradually intense build-up scenes where maids cry and giggle simultaneously, and a man sinks into his subconscious with the clink of a China cup, create a new realm to this thriller that you have to see to fully understand. You’ll never see therapists with tea cups the same way again. If anyone even utters “flash photography” or “the sunken place,” you’ll freeze. This movie doesn’t just portray the human psyche but messes with yours as you watch.
Excellence in casting doesn’t end with Kaluuya and Williams alone. Rose’s parents, Missy and Dean, played effectively by Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener, drive the storyline into disturbing waters with the perpetual unease they brought to each scene. From Dean’s comments on how he would have voted for Obama for a third term, to Missy’s dead-eyed, dominant and eerily calm stare, you grow more and more wary of the family as the scenes progress. Honorable mentions go out to Betty Gabriel, the maid whose smile could shed blood, Marcus Henderson, the new Usain Bolt meme, and the infamous Keith Stanfield, whose yells from the sunken place create one of the most disturbing scenes in the flick.
To cut the tension that these actors create, a comedic relief is found in the character Rod, played by Lil Rel Howery. He went from warning Chris not to “go to that White girl’s house,” to hitting on Rose in the same scene. His hilarious, carefree and sensitive side (his protection of Chris’s dog as he yells over the phone for Chris to get out) helps you recharge before being thrown back into the thriller. Hope is found when Rod goes on a detective-esque mission to find and save Chris. Look up loyalty in a dictionary and you’ll find Rod. He gives TS mothaf*****’ As a good name.
Although this movie is the model heart-racing thriller and gut-busting comedy, the horror aspect of “Get Out” is completely lost. The most horrifying thing about this movie is the sheer terror minority audiences may feel if they had to imagine themselves surrounded by only white people.
This movie thrives on social commentary and allusions hidden behind a veil of cliche horror and a mockery of racism. The relationship this mockery has to real life issues translates the absurdity of the story itself into a reality that is far too real to grasp. From the beginning we are introduced to a scene that is very reminiscent of the Trayvon Martin case. A black man donned in a hoodie and ripped jeans is walking in an affluent neighborhood and suddenly a car is tailing him. Just when you think the connections to our society are over, another scene begins but this time with animal death foreshadowing and a climax entangled with racism and the reality of police brutality.
Overall, “Get Out” has been a hit in the box office, with a total sale of over $150 million dollars, and the inspiration for a multitude of memes. Due to the success of the movie, Peele has become the first African-American writer-director to earn more than $100 million with his debut feature film. Peele has succeeded in not only telling a story but also challenging the ideals still prevalent in our society today. So get out and see “Get Out.”