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Fright Fortnight: Get Out? Get watching!

6 mins read

Jordan Peele is the new certified King of Horror with his triad of sinister social commentary horrors. Whilst his new film Nope is causing waves, Peele’s feature debut Get Out is one that continues to amaze and break the boundaries of horror as a genre.

Peele is fast becoming one of the most prevalent horror movie creators and it all started with his psychological horror Get Out.

This movie is one of the most talked about recent releases in the horror movie community and rightfully so. Get Out couldn’t be more delectably written. 

Paired with a masterful score from Michael Abels, a strong cast and beautiful cinematography, Peele wowed the world in his directorial debut. 

Setting the Tone

Chris Washington, played by the brilliant Daniel Kaluuya, is a photographer living the fast life in New York City with his girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). 

Their relationship has reached the ‘meet the parents’ stage and Chris has some apprehensions- rightfully so, as it turns out, due to him being a black man with a middle-class white woman.

However, before we even meet Chris, we meet Andre Hayworth (LaKeith Stanfield) in an opening sequence that sets an uneasy and sickly tone which will cling to you for the entire film.

It’s night and whilst lost and visibly uncomfortable in a wealthy picturesque neighbourhood, Andre is approached by a classy-looking white car with the muffled sounds of Run, Rabbit, Run playing from its interior. Before André has the chance to flee, he is grabbed by the neck and dragged to the car, wriggling and then becoming limp like a marionette doll. The music stops, the vehicle drives away… queue sinister score and opening credits.

The Opening Scene. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

From this scene, right up until moments before the end credits, Peele’s accuracy in the naming of this film is admirable; the whole time I was thinking ‘get out, get out, get out!’ with the faith of someone who wasn’t watching a horror movie. 

This is also how we realise that Peele, rather than going for a traditional horror route of ghosts, murderers, or zombies, is tackling a topic far more intimidating: racism.

Liberal Racism

The rest of the film is set in Rose’s family home, the Armitage estate. We are quickly shown one of the most obvious clues that something sinister is afoot when we meet Georgina and Walter, the house maid and groundsman.

In a manner that’s reminiscent of The Stepford Wives – a film that was a huge inspiration to Peele – Georgina and Walter have a distinct stiffness in their behaviour. 

They speak in an almost mid-Atlantic accent and dress like they haven’t been shopping since the 60s. Their smiles are cold, and their demeanour is distant, much to the confusion of Chris. 

He’d hoped to be comforted by a conversation with other black people but instead is left feeling put out and confused. 

It’s only once we get to Peele’s twist that we realise the fate of Georgina and Walter is one so horrible that it’s not only terrifying but also genuinely upsetting. 

The Armitage Family. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

It’s this same twist that drives home the message Peele is trying to deliver.

Together, Rose and her parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Kenner) and her brother, Jeremy (Caleb Jones), all represent a group in society we recognise but don’t always fear – even when we should.

The Armitage family represent the middle to upper-class white family who isn’t the kind of racist to shout slurs in the street or rally in the name of “White Lives Matter”.

Instead, Peele is showing us silent killers, the ones who walk among us undetected; they’re polite, friendly and charming but, underneath it all, have an agenda that works against the black community.

We even get an auctioning scene more than a little on the nose in delivering Peele’s message: it has to be, or the masses may just ignore it.

Dean Armitage at the auction. Image Credit: Universal Pictures

To sum it up…

Not only does the film give you jump-scares, suspense and cult shenanigans, it also terrifies you with its blatant metaphors and commentary on the current state of the world. And that is precisely why you should watch it.

Get Out is a movie about racial prejudice, abuse, and in particular, the way the white wealthy elite use and exploit the black community.

It truly is a horror that fills you with genuine fear. How? Because the story is based on the true experiences of the black community. Because it’s real.

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

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First year English Studies & Journalism student with an interest in film & tv, politics and music.
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