Movie Review: “Get Out”

(WARNING: SPOILERS)

Woo, I was anxious for this movie to come out. I wasn’t a fan of the Key and Peele show (they a little corny to me) but Jordan Peele piqued my curiosity with the “Get Out” trailer.

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I knew I wanted to see this movie. It received a 100% rating from Rotten Tomatoes which is pretty impressive considering the film’s storyline but was it truly that excelling?

The gist of the movie:

“Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.”

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The film starts off with a lost black man (played by “Atlanta” actor, Keith Stanford) walking late in a suburban nieghborhood area. He notices he is being followed and he gets the urge to turn around and head back home until he is abducted by the mysterious figure. In the next scene, we meet Chris (played by Black Mirror actor, Daniel Kaluuya) as Childish Gambino’s Redbone plays in the background. It seems fitting since the song contains the lyrics “But stay woke. Niggas creepin’. They gon’ find you. Gon’ catch you sleepin” foreshadowing the horrors to come. I peep Peele, I peep.

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As Chris packs up, his white girlfriend, Rose shows up to check to see if he is ready for the trip to her parents’ house. As he finishes gathering his things, he asks her if her family knows he is black. Rose responds by joking things off to ease the tension before saying no she didn’t but her parents aren’t racist because her dad would have voted for Obama for a THIRD time if he could. MAJOR SIDE EYE. It is mentioned that Chris is the first black guy she has dated so one could understand why he is hesitant about the trip. You’re meeting ya girl’s family first time and being alone in the woods with stranger white people? Issa no from me, dawg.

On the road, Chris talks to his black best friend, Rod, who is dog-sitting for him and works as a TSA. The relationship between Rod and Chris is great because Rod keeps it real with him from jump. He provides comic-relief as a character but warns Chris about how weird white people are. These scenes made me laugh because even though the audience is laughing at the rants about how “white people love making people sex slaves and shit!” and brings up Jeffrey Dahmer’s fetishes and murders, it speaks to the black audience even more because it’s realistic of the things we say when we are isolated with white people in unfamiliar or uncomfortable  environments (which is pretty much every day, right?). The movie carries two dialogues: speaking to its audience as a whole but it really has some scenes that hit home to black people specifically. We know this is a horror film and we know Chris is about to go through some odd racial shit but the movie hits you psychologically as the movie progresses with subtle mental racial scenarios and has timely comedy to remind you it’s satire when you get too paranoid.

While Rose is driving, a deer hits the car and Rose frantically pulls over as Chris gets out the car to see what happened. He hears the cry of the injured deer and stares at it for quite some time before he tells Rose to call the police. When the officer gets there, he tells them next time they should call animal control and then asks for Chris’ ID. Rose challenges the officer on why he needs Chris’ ID if he wasn’t driving and the officer claims it is protocol as he starts getting mad because Rose is questioning him. This scene was one of those “only shit white people do” moments because as Rose curses at the officer and talks back to him, Chris keeps his cool and tells her to let it go. After getting his ID back, Chris compliments Rose for defending him which she responds that no one is going to mess with her “man”. Was I the only one who cringed/chuckled at the way she said “man”?

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When they get to Rose’s parents house, Chris is welcomed with open arms despite slight awkward moments with white liberal antics with Rose’s father, Dean, asking how long this relationship “thang” has been going on and how he would have voted for a third time if he could as he shows Chris the house and brags about his father losing a potential Olympic competition slot to Jesse Owens. The only two black people Chris meets are servants for the family. Dean tells Chris he knows how it looks, denying he is racist and that the workers are like family. Though the Armitages comes off nice and welcoming, Chris still doesn’t feel comfortable and reassured around these white folks. Chris tries to feel ok with the comfort of the housekeeper and groundskeeper, Walter (Marcus Henderson) and Georgina (Betty Gabriel) around but his tension doesn’t ease because of their fake smiles and docile behavior. At dinner, Chris meets Rose’s wild brother who makes comments about Chris’ genetic make up, build and then the brother wants to roughplay with Chris but the situation diffuses. When they’re upstairs, Rose apologizes to Chris for her brother’s behavior and taps into a “Woke Liberal” rant about how she’s never noticed how her family may come off slightly racist.
The dynamic between Chris and Rose is interesting because it displays how insensitive white people can be. When race is being discussed between her and her boyfriend, Rose copes by making jokes off Chris’ feeling of uneasiness instead of genuinely considering why Chris feels uncomfortable. Even though Chris addresses certain things with her, he doesn’t really start speaking up until things are too late.

Chris sneaks out the house at night to smoke a cigarette (he is supposed to be quitting) but gets scared away when he sees the groundskeeper running towards him and the housekeeper looking out a window, staring blankly into the night. As he creeps back in, he is caught by Rose’s mom, Missy, who scolds Chris about smoking cigarettes. As they continue to talk, Missy, who is a therapist, slyly hypnotizes Chris to help him quit smoking.

Early on in the trailer, Rose’s father tells Chris that the mother could help him quit smoking via hypnosis. This scene is creepy because there’s something very weird about Missy even though she is very welcoming and warm to Chris but there’s some sort of unspoken power she has over the household. Peele made note to always associate her with a spoon, tea and a teacup in scenes to give us a clue into what kind of sick shit is going on. This interaction between Missy and Chris is significant because it also reveals history about Chris. She questions him about the death of his mother and taps into the guilt he feels for her death because he did not call for help when she was late coming home for hours. Instead, he sat watching television while his mother was still alive on the side of the road somewhere and could have been saved if he would have called someone. As Missy and Chris sit opposite of each other, she twirls her spoon and commands him to “sink into the floor.”. Chris’ “mind” falls into an endless black galaxy space and then he wakes up in his bed, confused. He tells Rose he thinks her mom hypnotized him and Rose responds by being shocked and apologizes to him. Like, that’s all you gonna do and say, bitch???!!!

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As the family hosts an annual gathering, more white people show up and when introduced to Chris, they invade his personal space by touching him, asking Rose if it’s true that black men are “better” in bed and proudly mention their love for Tiger Woods. Chris starts feeling overwhelmed and separates himself from the masses. He runs into a blind man who says “they’re all ignorant” regarding the party and compliments Chris’ work as a photographer. Chris is flattered because the blind man is a popular art collector and asks him how does he “see” the art pieces, which he replies that his assistant describes it to him in great detail.

Chris runs into another black man (the one from the beginning of the movie) at the party but instantly senses something is off about him. Not only is his style of dress a contrast from his tatts and piercings, but his mannerisms are odd. To confirm things, Chris gives him the “is you really black or nah?” test by putting his fist out for a dap but the guy grabs his fist instead.
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Later on in the party, an Asian man asks Chris about the “black experience” in America which Chris, taken aback, asks the same black guy to answer. The guy says that the black experience is a positive one and Chris is in disbelief. I’ve been in situations where I have listened to other black people discuss race and their views have left me flabbergasted so that exchange hit home. There’s so many red flags at this party but this whole scene is meant to be noted. Chris clearly knows something is wrong with the other black guy at the party and another gem is that the first time we see another person of color who is not black, they are just as offensive as the white people. It’s not just the white people you gotta be suspicious of, other minority groups uphold the idealistic views of white supremacy as well and are not always on your side even if they are a person of color. Hell, Chris can’t even trust the black people he has met in the movie so far. Chris decides to snap a pic of the black guy at the party to send to Rod because he feels like he has met him somewhere before. He forgets to turn the flash off and the light causes the guy’s nose to bleed and he lunges towards Chris and screams at him to “GET OUT. GET OUT!”

lyrxhdnFrom there on, we get to the climax of the movie where Jordan Peele takes the concept of the movie The Stepford Wives and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and tells us what the hell is going on. The Armitage family are kidnapping talented black people and selling them to the highest bidder. While Chris and Rose sneak off for some alone time during the party, back at the ranch, Dean has the guest silently bid with Bingo cards on a portrait of Chris. The blind man who Chris talked to, buys him. The biggest plot twist is that Rose knew about everything all along and set Chris up.

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All this time, the film basically wants you to believe that Rose is the only good slice of Wonderbread in the loaf and turns out, she is the moldiest piece. (She is at least, the butt bread that no one ever wants to use). Chris finds a collection of pictures with Rose and previous black lovers who have become “hosts”. Remember the housekeeper and groundskeeper? Yeah, those were Rose’s past lovers but now her grandma and grandpa have taken over the bodies. She goes on the hunt for black prey, takes black dick (or tongue since she dated Georgina) for a few months, then let’s her mom hypnotize them to get them ready for surgery by Dean, who takes their brain out and switches them with the buyer. Once Rose and her family think they have conned another black body, we are shown a sociopathic Rose. In her room, she repins the pictures of past conquests, sits on her bed eating cereal piece by piece as she sips milk in a glass while scrolling through new NCAA recruits. Rose is basically a Kardashian. Taking black dick for the team to keep the family fed.

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I think this movie goes into the dynamic of the black man and white woman underlyingly. Though the white men were pretty overt with their racism, it’s the white women who are deadly. You have Rose who lures the black men into relationships with her and the mother, Missy, who hypontizes the black bodies under her control. The white woman’s racism is always overlooked but it has been very prominent in the black man’s history in America. WW are portrayed as gentle, weak, innocent-like and always DESIRABLE. Their white tears have gotten a lot of black men’s dicks cut off and put to their death over lies and false accusations. It really puts the white woman on front street in this film. There’s many scenes of Rose or other white women being covert or overt with their racism and using their power as a white woman to their benefit. When Rod hasn’t heard from Chris in two days, he calls his phone and Rose lies saying that he left a while ago but didn’ t take his phone. Feeling like Rose is lying, Rod attempts to record the conversation but Rose is too sharp. She starts saying that she knows Rod has a crush on her and has always wanted her. Rod denies the allegations and frantically hangs the phone up.

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In the end, Chris kills off the family and manages to escape. There’s a final showdown between Rose and Chris, as he’s about to strangle her as she is slowly dying from a gunshot to the stomach. She tries to charm him one last time and something stops him from doing it as a police car pulls up. Rose then switches up and starts calling out for help like SHE is the victim. She gives up when she sees Rod stepping out the car. Rod knew something was up and went to save his friend. Like he said in the movie “TSA HANDLES SHIT”. After getting the pic Chris sent him, he finds out the black guy at the party has been missing for months and after getting laughed at by the police (shout out to the cameo of Erika Alexander aka Maxine Shaw from Living Single) about his theory, he took things in his own hands and went to look for his pal. It also connects to Chris letting go of the guilt he felt for his mom’s death as he and Rod drive out, leaving Rose to die from her gunshot wound. Chris failed to call for help when he noticed his mom was not home and continued to watch TV. His inaction or passiveness towards the racist people in the movie leads him to more trouble. The message is to take action when things don’t feel right or GET OUT. Chris tells Rose that she’s the only one he’s got in a scene but that isn’t true because at the end, Rod took action to look for him and save him.

There’s a lot to digest with the film if you really grasp everything that is being shown to you. There’s so much dialogue to touch on regarding race, interracial relationships and gender roles that Get Out captures. A big message to me is that no matter how much they try, they can never be us. They literally take over a black person’s body in the movie but it’s not 100% successful because the black person’s self is still there, fighting back for control. This is emphasized when Keith Stanfield’s character glitches after the flash from Chris’ phone. Art imitates real life as the white people adopt the bodies of blacks in the movie just as they take our culture, trends, styles and slang in reality but they can’t replicate it the same as a black person could. The film only loses points because it’s predictable if you’ve watched the Stepford Wives but Peele adds his own touches by adding what the black experience is like in liberal America.

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