Get Out

GET OUT is a crazy, racially themed horror-thriller written and directed by Jordan Peele of the comedy duo Key & Peele. And you know how sensitive I am about this, so I’ll just say right here that I consider this a horror movie that’s funny, not a horror-comedy. That’s how I prefer it. There are some big laughs, but they come out of the characters and situations, not at the expense of taking them seriously.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, SICARIO) is a young photographer who’s going on a trip with Rose (Allison Williams from Girls), his girlfriend of five months, to meet her parents. One thing he’s nervous about: she hasn’t told them he’s black. She swears it won’t be a big deal. Swears it.

Peele knows how to make us cringe, especially through the behavior of Rose’s dad, Dean (Bradley Whitford, ROBOCOP 3, A PERFECT WORLD), who tries to show he’s down by repeatedly calling Chris “my man” and saying “thang” and admitting “I know how it looks” that he has black servants. Then there’s her psychiatrist mother Missy (Catherine Keener, SURVIVAL QUEST, JACKASS PRESENTS BAD GRANDPA), who tries to hypnotize Chris to stop smoking, and her sketchy brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones, THE LAST EXORCISM, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS), who talks to Chris about MMA and tries to put him in a headlock. And there’s the strange behavior from groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson, DJANGO UNCHAINED, WHIPLASH) and housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel, THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR) and the big party where all the old white people show up in black SUVs and ask Chris clueless, uncomfortable questions that he’s very good at taking in good humor. This whole trip is a grueling gauntlet of trying-to-be-polite-and-not-offended. He knows he’s just trying to make it through the weekend and survive this trip but at first he doesn’t realize how literal that is.

My friend david j. moore compared GET OUT to THE WICKER MAN, which is fitting. It’s an outsider being shown around a strange community while having a sinking feeling that everybody’s looking at him like that for a reason he’s not gonna like. But instead of pagan cultists it’s just rich white people. The way we know it really is something for him to worry about and not just paranoia is the one other black guest to the party, Logan (played by LaKeith Stanfield, Junior from MILES AHEAD and Snoop Dogg in STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON). We saw him acting totally different earlier in the movie when he was abducted on a dark suburban street.

That’s a very specific fear I can’t remember seeing tapped in a horror movie. There’s the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE/DELIVERANCE/WOLF CREEK fear of rural weirdos who will tie you up or have their way with you or make hot dogs out of you. And there’s the CANDYMAN/DEATH WISH/JUDGMENT NIGHT/TRAINING DAY/various-comedies-especially-in-the-’80s fear of “the inner city” or “the hood,” where white or middle class people will immediately be swarmed by muggers, rapists and gang members if they accidentally get off at the wrong subway stop. But I think this is the first time I’ve seen one that addresses the very reasonable fear of white suburbs where the locals might have guns and assume the worst of a black man they don’t recognize in their neighborhood. It obviously brings to mind the murder of Trayvon Martin, but it also made me think of a notorious incident in Seattle when a popular young theater actor was shot to death for knocking on the wrong door for a Halloween party. This is just as real of a concern as having to know how to not provoke police officers, but I think it’s been less addressed in movies.

So GET OUT’s SCREAM style cold open is this normal guy (who we already love if we watch Atlanta on FX) walking down tree-lined sidewalks in a quiet residential neighborhood, just trying to follow directions to somebody’s house when a car with tinted windows drives by slowly, turns around, pulls up next to him. And I’m not gonna pretend I understand what that feels like, but Peele does as best you can with a movie to put even the white members of the audience in his shoes and see the terror of it.

When the fear of police violence comes up it’s in an unusual way. After Rose runs over a deer, an officer asks for Chris’s license even though he’s just a passenger. He’s willing to do it, but Rose bluntly calls bullshit and challenges the officer. She’s correct, but it’s some spectacular white privilege to start a confrontation with a cop on her boyfriend’s behalf. He’s the one who’s most at risk here if her implications of racism are correct.

But most of the horror here is less visceral and literal than that. It’s more of a cultist/body snatcher type of vibe. Hypnotism, brainwashing and mad science mixed with social discomfort and racial tension. The pieces and questions are put into place; Chris’s only lifeline to the outside is his friend and dogsitter Rod (comedian Lil Rel Howery), but somebody keeps unplugging his phone while it charges, making it harder to call him. He has to figure out what exactly is going on here, if Walter and Georgina are a threat or if they need help, and who he can trust. If anybody.

I don’t know how genuine this is, but supposedly there are people calling the movie racist against white people. I assume it’s mostly coming from the fringe looneys who I used to think we should just ignore and not give a platform to, but now they actually run the government so you can’t really stop them from having a platform. Anyway I think it’s an interesting aspect of the movie worth discussing.

They’re actually not as far off base as usual. It is a movie that intentionally plays off of a fear of white people, including allegedly non-racist liberals, and portrays us as monsters jealous of and conspiring to subjugate African-Americans. It makes a joke of the characters’ seemingly unfair kneejerk reactions about white people always turning out to be absolutely 100% correct.

I can’t be offended though because I can see where it’s coming from and agree with it. It has some truth to it or at least is worth us taking time to think about how much truth it has to it. And it’s the only movie I’ve ever seen like this. If it became a standard movie trope then I’d probly start to think “Oh come on now, why does the white guy have to be kidnapping and hypnotizing the black people again?” But I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

That’s why I wish it could be instructional to the people who are made uncomfortable by it. I wish now that they know that feeling of thinking they’re being denigrated by a movie they could consider how much more often they’d be experiencing it if they were black, Asian, Latin, Native American or God forbid Arab. I wish it would make them question every time they’ve ever insulted somebody for supposedly wanting “political correctness.” Are they really gonna demand political correctness now in this one specific case where it was their widdle biddy feelings that were hurt?

(If you really do think this is an attack on white people though, you should know that Peele’s mother is white. So is his wife. He went to Sarah Lawrence College. He doesn’t hate you for being white.)

I personally have not run into a white person who didn’t love the movie, and I’m very skeptical of some Tweet I saw gloating about it causing “white tears.” But I do think it can work differently on people depending on their backgrounds. The Saturday night crowd I saw it with was pretty diverse and it did seem like there was a more vocally enthusiastic response (including applause) from some of the people of color. I think it’s more personal for some people and that’s an example of why it’s cool to have more diverse voices creating our art, including our horror movies.

Anyway, it’s a good movie, and it’s a good title too, because you might assume it’s racist people telling him to GET OUT of their neighborhood, but it’s more like hey man you better GET OUT of here, these people are dangerous!

And I think it should be good for a rewatch because there are many aspects of it that work two ways like that. It’s a really well thought out script with lots of little clues and details that may be confusing or meaningless at the time but once you’ve seen what’s going on you can put it together in retrospect. Some things I didn’t understand until talking to friends afterwards, and there’s one little thing that I only realized while writing this review. So I think a SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON section is in order.

* * *

SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON. Don’t read the rest unless you’ve seen the movie.

The thing that occurred to me just now was why she stood up to that cop wanting to see Chris’s ID. We know now that she doesn’t care about racism, so it’s not really her sense of justice. It’s because she doesn’t want the cop to see his name and remember it when he comes up missing. But it’s such a good scene just for the tension it creates that it doesn’t seem like it needs an explanation like that. It would still fit if it didn’t have that purpose.

And now I’d like to discuss how special the end of the movie is. When he’s killed his way out and he’s covered in blood and the red and blue lights come down the road as he’s on top of shotgunned-nearly-to-death Rose, it seems like we’re getting the bleak ending, the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD ending, the the-System-will-never-believe-you-and-now-you’re-fucked ending. I was struck by the loud scream of shock and delight from an African-American woman in front of me when it was revealed to really be his friend Rod there to rescue him in a “T.S. motherfuckin A” vehicle. It was like this woman had been wound up tight and suddenly free to release every ounce of tension and relief through her voice. I too was happy to have the triumphant ending, but for some people I think it’s a real serious cathartic moment. Nope, this time you are not going to lose faith in all institutions. This time you’re going to get the happy ending you deserve.

The other thing that’s great about the ending is the perfect Key & Peele tortured comedic timing of the long pause as Rod sits there and tries not to say I told you so.

That guy’s really funny, and this whole cast is great, but since we’re in the spoiler section I want to single out Gabriel and Stanfield, for their complex performances as black people struggling to communicate from inside white people inside black people (!), and Williams for the turn she takes. She does such a good job when she seems to be a well meaning character, but I think it’s kind of courageous for her as an actress to do that scene where she’s listening to the DIRTY DANCING soundtrack while looking for her next victim. It’s one thing to turn out to be a psycho in a SCREAM movie or something but to play the awful predatory white girlfriend of nightmares takes some guts. I mean I know she already did Peter Pan Live!, but still, I respect it.

This is already a big hit on a small Blumhouse budget, which means they’ll try to get Peele to direct a comic book movie. But in interviews he seems intent on doing more horror movies with social commentary in them. Either way I bet it will be interesting.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 11:42 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

43 Responses to “Get Out”

  1. I feel like this is a genuine classic horror movie. I’ve only seen it once, but I think it’s gonna grow on me in subsequent viewings. I really can’t wait to see what Jordan Peele does to follow this up. His directing on this is solid. Pacing is perfect, the way it’s shot and edited is perfect, I love the way humor is woven in to make the horror moments stand out even more. I’m recommending it to everybody.

  2. There’s some spoilers in here so just GET OUT and see the movie already before you read on.

    Here’s a prediction: I won’t see a better horror movie this year. This is a great example of the type of movie I was talking about in the Oscars 2017 thread. Of course this movie is getting a lot of attention because of its subject matter, as it should. Black people have been so badly served by horror over the years, either being ignored or being used as tokens or punchlines in films that do not express their own anxieties and fears. This film, especially with that great, unexpected SWEET SWEETBACK ending (Black-themed films are the only kind where a Hollywood-style happy ending where the hero doesn’t die an unfair and unearned death in the last few minutes could be considered a twist ending), could easily be a film that filled a need at the time of its release and coasted to temporary success on that.

    But it’s not that film. I love it for HOW it is, not just WHAT it is. This motherfucker is entertaining first and a statement about These Times We Live In second. It’s tense as fuck while also being funny, it’s imaginative, it’s well made in every department, it’s fully fleshed out thematically, it feels dangerous, it makes you care, it makes you think, and it leaves you with a smile. This is the kind of movie that gets remembered. This is what every film should be striving for. It makes all those honkeys-in-a-haunted-house movies that hit theaters every other month look as anemic as a period vampire movie the day after NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD came out.

    “Anyway, it’s a good movie, and it’s a good title too, because you might assume it’s racist people telling him to GET OUT of their neighborhood, but it’s more like hey man you better GET OUT of here, these people are dangerous!”

    Huh. I did not assume that at all. My immediate go-to was that Peele was referencing this:

    eddie murphy - delirious (get out)

    eddie murphy - delirious (get out)


    Obviously, the movie plays with our expectations with that ending. Halfway through the movie, I started thinking that there was only one conceivable way this story could conclude, and I started steeling myself for it. Sometimes I’d get so caught up in the story that I’d forget that there was no way this was going to work out well in the end, and then I’d remember and it would bum me out. That’s why that ending was so genius, because we’re so conditioned to see these kinds of stories end in tragedy that a simple deus ex machina like this plays like a Shyamalan twist.

    However, I thought there were other ways that the movie was playing with our expectations that shows that Peele is no dilettante with this horror shit. Like the use of the best friend character. The way the film is structured, horror heads know that we’re being set up for two possibilities: 1. The Marion Crane: Our ostensible main character has been taken off the board, and a related character suddenly steps to the fore to investigate. 2. The Scatman: We’re being led to believe that help is on the way, only for the presumptive hero to be killed immediately upon arrival.

    Instead, we get neither. Our original main character is still very much in play, and the Scatmanning of Rod never happens. Peele plays the long game with this character, using our familiarity with the genre and with real life against us, and it pays off with a massively satisfying ending.

    I can’t speak highly enough of how intelligently constructed and realized this movie is. Peele displays a rare level of storytelling craft with this piece. I can’t wait to see what else he’s got to say.

  4. I saw this with a probably majority white but mixed ethnicity, predominantly college crowd at a college indie drafthouse. Interestingly, a lot of interracial couples came out…couldn’t not notice this. The crowd loved it, and there was not an ounce of overt racial tension among the audience: everyone is of course rooting for the main dude and rooting against the evil white family and laughing and cheering and having a damn good time. Granted, I’m a white guy so far be it from me to say what others felt, but everyone was having a good time and resonating with the racial justice-y elements but also vibing with the comedy elements. Can’t imagine having had a filmgoing experience like that a decade ago. Probably that is whitesplaining or insensitive or something, but that was my experience and perception.

    This was just some fun, campy, creepy, original stuff. Vern’s analysis is right on point. It’s psychological horror with a sense of campy humor, but horror-comedy is not the way to characterize it. I have never wanted to see a horror comedy in my life. Very much TCM-esque abandoned away from civilization mayhem but flipped on its head in a way that is very resonant with the issues of the day (not that they’re new issues, but in terms of social discourse). Also, it’s a very original premise. Creepy and funny as hell. Great casting, great performances.

    I originally that Key and Peele looked like some seriously corny shit, but I had a couple of sick days about a year ago, binged watched the whole series on Hulu, and it’s fantastic. You can definitely see the horror interests even in that show, and they both explicitly note in the show that they’re horror dudes (I know Key is not a part of this). They’re also both from mixed white/black parents and are very explicit about how their biracial experience (blending, shifting, and learning from different contexts based on the ethnic and cultural make-up) colors their comedy. They have the ability to go to places and address issues in a very funny, disarming, critical, thoughtful, and refreshing way; plus, it’s just funny. (Also, this Blumhouse dude knows his shit. Guy’s on a nice little run here).

    Watch this through to the end. Peele’s really got a handle on this thang. I’d have voted for him a third time.

    Key & Peele - Continental Breakfast

    We know you want more Key & Peele -- indulge in the ultimate sketch experience with curated collections, GIFs, memes and an illustrated dictionary. Nooice! h...

  5. This movie was legit great. I saw it with a predominately black audience and let me tell you, this is one of the few times I’ve seen a movie that got as big a reaction as this one got. RJ is right, this is new classic and to Mr. M’s point: I believe we will be talking about this one ten years down the line.

    Haven’t been this excited leaving a movie since MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and HATEFUL EIGHT.

  6. I also saw it with a mostly African-American audience and it was great. SPOILERS coming this way——> the audience cheered every time Chris killed one of the family members but were especially vocal when he killed the mother. The audience really seemed to hate her more than the others. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but I thought that was sort of interesting. Great film.

  7. Daniel Kaluuya is flat out awesome in this movie. He needs to be in a lot more stuff.

  8. You should review A CURE FOR WELLNESS. Crazy shit in that movie.

  9. ^^^I’ll second Tawdry, A CURE FOR WELLNESS is nuts.

  10. spoilers below

    A moment i really enjoyed in this movie was when Chris is trying to leave the house in the middle of the movie and the creepo brother is blocking the door holding what else but a lacrosse stick. IE something from a game invented thousands of years ago by Native Americans that has become emblematic of spoiled white bros in recent times.

    And then the mom’s there and she’s wearing this super elaborate gold-and-turquoise necklace that could be on display in the Egypt section of a natural history museum… which used to signify royalty, but now just signifies the ability to buy stuff.

    And there’s that song at the beginning, too — “Run, Rabbit, Run” — not only the ‘whitest’-sounding music you could possibly find, but with lyrics that, from a certain perspective, could easily not be talking about actual rabbits (and if you disagree, please refer to the Walking Dead t-shirt controversy from last week).

    All of which feels like a subtle but distinct arrow towards the idea that white identity neither can nor yet has the right to separate itself from oppression, violence, and ownership. If that sounds prejudiced against white people, I mean… so be it. I’d call prejudice against white people the most justified prejudice that currently exists on Earth.

    Vern, I think you’re totally on point when you express the desire for a movie like this to get white people to realize that the vast majority of Hollywood product exhibits similar, if not far worse bias against black & brown people, either intentionally or not. I honestly think this one might have the power to open a few minds. When I saw it, I sat in back of 2 white teenagers, one of whom looked at his phone literally every 2-3 minutes and groaned “What is *up* with this *movie*?” at some point during the climax. But his friend was completely engrossed from beginning to end, and ignored both the comment and the repeated entreaties to look at something on the other kid’s phone. Like you said, too, what’s really exciting is that G.O. is a hit — even if Marvel convinces Peele to work for them, I’m hoping there’ll be more room at the megaplex for movies like this in the months to come.

  11. RABBIT, RUN, which took its title from the song (apparently often used during WWII as a taunt toward the Germans), is a John Updike novel about the attempts of a frustrated man to escape from the stultifying homogeneousness of comfortable middle class life. It is right up there near the top of the list of Whitest Of All White People Novels About White People With White People Problems, so Peele will have my undying respect if he was consciously referencing it in his film about the people who actually have something to fear from the suburbs besides boredom.

  12. Mr M — I hadn’t thought of that, but that’s a great catch! To me it just seemed like “jaunty hunting song recontextualized,” but it doesn’t seem too far afield to think that Peele might have been referencing the book also.

  13. Rob Zombie used that song near the end of his HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES. Probly to suggest that white working class people need only fear being murdered by white trash satanists.

  14. SPOILER?
    Apparently at one point we were going to get the nihilistic ending:

    Jordan Peele Reveals Darker Original Ending to 'Get Out' - Bloody Disgusting!

    Obviously, if you haven't yet seen Get Out, you may want to avoid this post. Seriously. Turn away now. The final act of Get Out is particularly satisfying,

    I’m with Vern that he made the right choice to give us a hopeful one.

  15. this movie was so fucking refreshingly different. the explicit acknowledgement of the fetishization of black bodies alone is groundbreaking, the fact that its the centerpiece of a wildly entertaining horror film packed with brutally on-the-nose commentary… its hard to understate the importance of this film. i’m white and i saw it with my gf who is black, she said it practically gave her PTSD it was so real – that literally every weird comment from the white people at the party has been said to her verbatim, multiple times in her life…

    i have given key & peele a lot of shit for the amount of punching down and problematic shit on their show, but peele knocked this one out of the park.
    for the majority of the white audiences seeing GET OUT, its a window into a POV that they have never even considered.

  16. I loved this one too and it demands repeated viewings, it seems like there’s like 8 or 9 simultaneous levels of satire to certain moments.


    The Stephen Root character mentions that there are different “wrangling” methods used to attain their victims, and I suppose that’s what we see portrayed in the prologue: instead of dating them, this Coagulist’s absurd method is literally to prowl around rich suburbs looking for stray black people to etherize and stuff in the trunk.

    But isn’t this the same absurd thing that white people actually fear happens in reality: any white who ventures into a black neighborhood will immediately become a target of the black predators roaming around just waiting for such an opportunity?

  17. SPOILERS ahoy.

    The bit about the cop and the driver’s license has another payoff, it seems to me; Chris isn’t going to be arrested for any of this down the line. There’s nothing connecting him to the bloody events at the house – the cop didn’t see his ID, it wasn’t his car, physical evidence tying him to the house would be lost when it burned up, etc. I suppose the police could find fingerprints, DNA in the blood, etc., inside the car, if they looked… but why would they? They’ve got two dead (black) servants, one of whom clearly murdered the daughter and then himself. Open and shut case. To say nothing of the fact that their rich neighbours would be using their influence to get this case resolved fast, to avoid attention.

    So often the happy ending a movie provides is flimsy and falls apart upon reflection. (Like WALL-E, for instance.) But this one seems solid. Good one, Peele.


    FANTASTIC movie- you’re really rewarded for paying attention, and there are layers upon layers of symbols and hidden meanings. I’d imagine it’s very rewatchable. I am not familiar with Jordan Peele but he wrote one hell of a tight screenplay. I was particularly impressed by how the humor was integrated- in less capable hands, the TSA best friend would have been way out of place, but even the big laugh when he showed up at the end somehow worked.
    One thing I noticed that MUST have been intentional, but made me feel a little guilty for noticing (which was probably the point) was the means by which Chris was able to escape that chair he was tied up in- he was able to outmaneuver the hypnosis by picking some cotton from the chair’s armrest, and using it to plug his ears. Also loved that Chris was able to figure out Georgina was not who she appeared to be when she had no idea what ‘snitching’ meant.

  19. I saw both this and LOGAN this weekend. Both were great movies, but I am glad I saw this one after LOGAN. That one left me feeling pretty down and this one picked me up. Vern says that he’s not going to pretend to understand the fear of the guy in the beginning walking through a suburban neighborhood when a car pulls up. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized guys aren’t afraid to walk around at night. And it was something said on here (don’t remember what) that clued me into this. Just a funny coincidence, because I am very familiar with that fear, just not in the same way.

    I absolutely loved the performances in this. The scene where you see the woman trapped inside the housekeeper for a bare instance only to be shoved back down was brilliant.

    And what was up with eating the fruit loops and then drinking the milk? I saw online somewhere that someone said it was so the “coloreds and whites don’t mix”. I’m not sure I buy that, though, since they’re “mixing” quite a bit by hijacking their bodies. Unless it’s about that weird hypocrisy you can get with racism of saying another race is lesser, but then wanting to fuck them, too.

  20. I think WALL-E was totally self-aware of the ending’s implicit irony. SPOILERS FOR WALL-E: Don’t they even show a end-credits montage of the cycle beginning to repeat itself as the humans rebuild?

  21. Nabroleon Dynamite

    March 9th, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    My question is “Why would the police front on a TSA Agent who was forwarded a photograph of a guy who’s all over the internet as missing by another guy who is currently missing?

    Other than that, the flick was air fucking tight.

  22. I caught this one tonight and really enjoyed it. I was slightly disappointed – I hadn’t read much about it beforehand but was under the impression that it was a “horror” movie. Anyway, it was a solid comedy just not exactly what I expected. The friend I saw it with was reluctant to go because he “gets too scared” at horror movies and he absolutely loved it. Another friend didn’t go with us because he also “gets too scared” at horror movies. I mean, I’m not a big horror guy but that’s because I find most of them boring and/or stupid. I can’t believe there are grown men that are too scared to watch movies – especially in a big crowd of people.

    I guess I was the only one who didn’t recognize the guy from the very first scene when he turned up later in the movie? I also didn’t recognize him from Atlanta so I guess it is his fault for not being very recognizable.

    Some of the comments here are interesting – I never had any doubt that the ending would be a (relatively) happy one. I mean, even if he got arrested, there was a some pretty significant evidence to support his story. I guess maybe you thought he would just get shot on sight? Anyway, the theater I was at, most of the people actually applauded when Rod stepped out of the car and I have not seen that happen very often.

    Also, unlike the rest of you, I probably wouldn’t have much interest in seeing this again even though I liked it a lot.

  23. HALLSY: So a black man from out of town kills an entire rich white suburban family, is standing there covered in their blood, with a crazy story about how he had to kill them because they tried to steal his body…and your first instinct is that the cops are just gonna read him his rights?

    Where are you from, if you don’t mind me asking?

  24. LOL – Canada obviously.

  25. You lucky bastard.

  26. Peele is NOT doing AKIRA next, thank God:

  27. Peele is NOT doing AKIRA next, thank God:

  28. “I think [I could do it] if the story justifies it. Akira is one of my favorite movies, and I think obviously the story justifies as big a budget as you can possibly dream of. But the real question for me is: Do I want to do pre-existing material, or do I want to do original content? At the end of the day, I want to do original stuff.”

    I Was a Witness to the GET OUT “Garden Party Massacre!”

    Nestled into the leafy hills of Universal City, CA lies a cul-de-sac called Colonial Street — a set of seemingly innocuous suburban houses which have served, over the years, as the location for shows like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. It was against this backdrop that Universal Pictures decided (with no small amount […]

  29. I’ve been waiting years for just one motherfucker to say that. Just one. Peele just became my goddamn spirit animal.

  30. I wasn’t sure what I’d make of this, having gone into it purposefully blind, but I liked it. I haven’t seen any of Key and Peele’s stuff, but it did have the feeling of a sketch developed into a fleshed-out movie. The garden party scene would make a funny sketch, for instance. I was also struck it could have worked well – with small alterations – without the race theme. Others must have expressed similar thoughts elsewhere, but one movie this reminded me of was BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, with its —SPOILER — wacky sci-fi concept of people commandeering younger, fitter bodies to transfer their consciousnesses into. Darker than MALKOVICH though, without the rambling zaniness, and better for it. The one thing I didn’t care for so much, personally, was the comedy relief friend; it just intruded on the tension in a way that didn’t really work for me. I never like comedy interludes in otherwise taut, suspenseful pieces, and in this case I think there were plenty of other parts that provided better integrated comic moments. Good stuff though.

    BTW, I sincerely doubt that “Run Rabbit Run” was written with any kind of racial intent, being a British song penned around the start of the Second World War. If there were any kind of double-meaning, it would probably be aimed at the German army, though I doubt even that.

  31. I recently had a second viewing of GET OUT and enjoyed it even more…seeing how it’s crafted while knowing the “twist” was captivating in a way I didn’t find the confusion of the first viewing to be. I went from liking it to absolutely loving it.

    And one thought I had on the ending was…..


    …that any viewer with any investment in the film and characters would, maybe for the first time in their lives, have the same “oh shit” feeling POC must consistently feel when the cops show up. In any other movie (and, as a white Canadian, real life) the cops showing up is a moment of relief, but on a purely visceral level when I saw the cop lights flashing my stomach dropped. I think it’s an incredible moment that Peele has carefully managed to pull off with the quality of everything that has come before it. And then, of course, the relief that follows it! Superb filmmaking.

  32. Congrats to Peele and the Get Out team for the Oscar nominations. It was masterfully made.


    The sunken place was particularly horrifying, to not only lose your freedom and autonomy over your body but that you would have to watch a white person live in your body. Somehow they imagined something worse than slavery. It was quite a reversal for the “woke” blind photographer to win the auction, made me as a trying to be progressive white person take stock and self-examine.

    So I get the disgusting motive for the blind photographer; he gets a better body. I didn’t fully get the motive for the grandparents to choose their roles as servants. They can say they’re “part of the family”, but it’s a huge drop in status from the heads of the family to being the help.

  33. As my above comments attest, I enjoyed the heck out of this one. I saw it at a sneak preview and promptly bought it when it came out on video. I’m doing well if I make it to a theater more than 4 times in a year, so that’s saying something.

    All that said, this film is not in any way a Best Picture caliber film. It’s fun, thoughtful, subversive, and creative. It’s also extremely campy, at times downright goofy. If this can be Best Picture, then so could CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER or ANCHORMAN.

    Is it just blatant pandering post- #OscarsSoWhite, or what?

  34. It’s not the traditional type of nominee – I read that it’s only the third horror movie ever nominated for best picture, and that’s including police procedural THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS – but does that mean it’s not Oscar caliber? I definitely think what got it in the running is that it’s about ideas that are very timely and on people’s minds and if they’ve ever been communicated in a movie before it certainly wasn’t in this kind of fun and entertaining manner. And yes, it certainly helps that there is momentum on this movement to end the long tradition of ignoring the achievements of black artists, and here is a beloved movie by a black writer/director, from a black perspective, but that speaks to everybody. In the sense that best picture nominees often say something about the ideals and aspirations of the country and the industry at that time, it is a very good nominee. Might make up for CRASH.

  35. I suppose I would file this being nominated and CRASH winning best picture in the “two wrongs don’t make a right” folder. GET OUT is a great film the way AUSTIN POWERS 1 and IRON MAN 1 and TRADING PLACES and JACK REACHER 1 are great films. I always thought there was an unwritten rule that this kind of great film can’t be best picture…that the film has be a straight-up tearjerker or a prestige drama (or a prestige musical drama) that is played pretty straight. If GET OUT is not a craven pandering to political momentum to have more African-American nominees, then how does one explain all of the previous years where great horror films or comedy films or action films have gone un-nominated. It looks to me as though the academy has expanded the range of genres that can be considered a Best Picture film because Jordan Peele is an African-American who made a really fun campy horror film starring another African-American and focusing on a topical racial justice issue. That’s the only way I an understand this decision. Also, GET OUT is a solid 3-star film.

  36. This article lends some credence to my previous point, though it seems like this trend has been in the making for longer than I appreciated. So, I stand corrected. Good for GET OUT. I hope we see more movies like it. A great film and far better than the very overrated IT.

    Rotten Tomatoes may have radically skewed the Best Picture race

    There are other factors behind the weirder, more personal nominees in the category, but the statistics are worth considering.

  37. Huh. Link troubles. The article is called “How Rotten Tomatoes may have radically skewed the Oscars’ Best Picture race” and is at THE VERGE.

  38. I hope every A24-core filmmaker watches US and start crying…

  39. Can’t wait for Vern’s review of US and to see the reactions. I can’t restrain myself for however many days or even hours that might be, and apologies in advance if (when) I paste this into the US thread. I don’t think anything below is a spoiler, but it’s definitely a spoiler for my reaction to the film which will at least suggest some of its narrative/tonal contours, etc.

    Here, goes…

    My reaction was mixed, as I was at once disappointed with the film and delighted that a film like this can get a major studio release and become something of a critic’s darling. There’s a lot to like, and a lot that’s frustrating. Words like strange, original, interesting, and thought-provoking are fitting. Words like scary, horrifying, or unnerving are not.

    On the plus side, it’s gorgeous in every respect, and Peele has a great command of the visual aesthetics, extending even to the casting, where all the actors not only give great performances but are interesting to watch, beautifully shot, and bring a great nonverbal physicality to their performances. The first scene prologue / inciting incident is wonderfully creepy and possibly even iconographic. The final-final twist is a pretty good one, though I spotted it as a strong possibility in the first 10 minutes (my track-recorded as a twist-detector is spotty at best). Lupita Nyong’o *is* really good. The film has the stones to be big, bold, and weird. In addition to being a really skilled technician, Peele has interesting and original ideas and is not just aping or recycling. His social commentary never feels preachy to me. It’s entertaining food for thought that acknowledges the absurdity and layeredness of class and racial identity dynamics in a framework of common humanity.

    On the downside, the film drags at points, and it somehow manages to feel mostly cluttered and frenetic but with stretches that feel desultory and seem to overstay their welcome. That’s a hard experience to really explain. We have a lot of little moments with a lot of different characters, but we don’t get much depth with most of them, and there are chunks (like most of the Elisabeth Moss/Husband stuff) that seem not only superflous but incongruous with the rest of the film. Most importantly, the attempt at higher-concept world-building has promise and is visually rich and even arresting, but the attempts to explain the supporting mythology are an almost laughable airball of exposition-speak and stark implausibility.

    Comparisons between Peele and Shyamalan should not be overdrawn, because they’re quite different. Among other things, Peele’s humor generally works (makes sense), his ideas are richer, and his visuals are stronger. But, like Shyamalan, Peele excels as a visual storyteller and as a premise/twist/punchline guy, and in this at least, he fails as a verbal storyteller, especially when he moves beyond the broad strokes and attempts to color too finely within the lines.

    He’s made for cinema, boasting considerable visual and sonic gifts, as well as a great track record for casting, production design, and eliciting strong performances. But in this one, he’s trying to do too many things narratively, which makes for choppy pacing that can’t achieve sustained momentum. As a result, he fails bigtime on bona fide scares and suspense. Maybe he wasn’t trying for that, but it’s a missed opportunity to wring all the terrifying potential out of a truly creepy premise. I was legit spooked by the trailer, so imagine my disappointment at their being very little genuine terror in this. And his attempt to tell-not-show the finer logic of the mythology is a colossal miscalculation. There’s a version of this film that might have resisted the attempt to explain what’s going on and leaned into Peele’s visual strengths. Less truly would have been more in the mythology-splaining department.

  40. Hey, guys, ready to feel super old? Here’s a conversation I just overheard in the English 101 class I’m embedded in:

    “Hey, remember that movie GET OUT?”
    “Yeah! Did you know Jordan Peele used to be a comedian?”
    “What? No way!”

    We need a new time-space continuum, you guys. This one’s broken.

  41. Welcome to my world. I work in a corporation where I have a decade at minimum on my colleagues and I’ve long since made peace with the fact that 99.9999% of my co-workers were still being breast fed when TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY was released and can only pick out Liam Hemsworth from the THE EXPENDABLES 2 poster.

  42. Wanna feel really, really old? I sporadically visit a sight where all the participants are super into movies. They know who’s hands it was who strangled the second girl in a slasher movie that only aired one time on a local channel in ’99. Yet when I make a reference to something James Caan said in a Coppola classic…

  43. James Caan was in JACK?

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