Last night I finally got to see Get Out. I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. The writer, Jordan Peele is known for his comedy sketches and his work on MADtv. So when I learned he did a horror film, it peaked my interest. I have a strong stance that comedy makes a solid platform for most genres, so I love crossovers.

I heard a lot about the film being racist. This, of course, made me want to watch it just to see if such claims had validation. The main character is a black man, therefore everything is from his perspective. It is not “reverse racism”, it is simply the black experience. It is from a black man’s point of view. If that makes you uncomfortable, you should probably keep watching.

Chris is a black photographer who is meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. The girlfriend insists that her parents won’t care that he is black but after some awkward behavior she admits her mistake in not preparing them. Chris takes it in stride, but when they find themselves guests at the yearly house party, things get even worse.

Chris notices that the black groundskeeper and black maid are weird. Just, plain weird. He tries talking to them, but it becomes clear that they are somehow brainwashed. When he meets a familiar black man at the party who is also weirdly…white, he begins investigating.

This film has all the classic horror themes. The most prevalent theme is paranoia becoming a reality. Chris is caught between wondering if his perceptions are exacerbated by the discomfort of his surroundings, or if something more sinister is at play.

The racial awkwardness between Chris and the white folks at the party is cringeworthy. Yet, they are things that are commonly said to black people. At some point, a woman is obviously checking Chris out and feeling him up as though he were livestock before asking the question. You know the question. “Are black man better in bed?” So here Chris is, wondering if it’s just well-intended ignorance or if he is being examined for some sort of slave auction.

Peele did an excellent job in developing Chris, he used a common theme of “main character with a traumatizing past” but allowed his character to be far more vulnerable than most films do. However, as a former Psychology student, I felt the hypnosis plot was a little far reaching. People really overestimate the ability of hypnosis. It doesn’t really work the way most portray it. In fact, very few people can be hypnotized into doing anything against their will. That aside, the scene where the mother hypnotizes Chris is deeply disturbing.

As far as fear factor goes, the scariest part of the film for me was the very end. I became so emotionally invested into Chris that when I saw the flashing lights I felt dread.

I highly recommend this film. It’s not gory, it is suspenseful. It features thoughtfully developed characters and a fresh perspective.

Behold the Coagula

Shayna Grissom