By Morgan Lawrence
Subtle racism manifests into a manhunt after Chris meets his girlfriend’s sadistic family in a secluded suburban neighborhood. This R-rated horror film follows an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams (Girls, Peter Pan Live!). Meeting the parents is awkward for all couples, but an interracial relationship can be trickier. Writer and director, Jordan Peele, who achieved mainstream success on Comedy Central as one half of the sketch comedy duo Key & Peele, successfully captured the daily difficulties of a Black man in an interracial relationship since Peele himself is in an interracial marriage.
The film explores the dynamic of a Black man interacting in a dominantly White surrounding. This film also touches on the discrimination between black men and the police. Chris and Rose get into a car accident and the white male police officer asks Chris for his identification even though he was not driving. This captures how black men are under constant suspicion.
Peele also looks into the resentment of Black people against other Black people. For example, Chris suspected the maid of unplugging his phone on purpose to get back at him for being with a White woman. Chris tries to explain the issue to Rose, who thinks nothing of it, until Chris says that “it’s a thing” for Black women to resent Black men for dating outside their race. Also, Peele captured the dynamic between the Black servants and Chris very well. We see that Chris almost feels guilty as if the family’s staff was enslaved and he was free.
Cinematically, the film is shot very well on a $4.5 million budget. The music intensifies the energy of the film.
Rose’s mother, played by Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Captain Phillips) is a psychiatrist who manipulates Chris into hypnosis. She uses his childhood nightmares to drown him into another dimension called “The Sunken Place.”
Peele tweeted “The Sunken Place means we’re marginalized. No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.” The film also highlights the bigger picture of the media and the justice system hypnotizing the minority population into believing that we cannot make a difference no matter how hard we try. Our education, communities and even our self-esteem are at risk of devolution.
We learn later in the film that Rose’s family’s sinister agenda with Black people psychologically and physically when Rose tells Chris “you were one of my favorites” as he’s sinking deeper into the dark hypnosis.
Ultimately, Jordan Peele successfully illuminated the perception of Black men as dangerous when in fact, they are the ones in danger. He captured the anxiety and daily struggles of black men interacting with the police and in a dominantly white surrounding. He captured the complexity of being in an interracial relationship. He also inspired a new shade of horror films for its genre. Universal Studios made the right choice to get behind this film earning $100 million box office dollars to date, and still counting. The success of this film proves that this story can reach and affect an audience. Overall, GET OUT is a wildly original and intense thriller that makes meeting the parents a deadly altercation.