Academy Award nominated film, ‘Get Out,’ gives a new meaning to comedy

By Stephanie Gambill

Jordan Peele made his directing debut with the horror “Get Out” which began showing in theaters February of last year.

Before directing, he worked alongside Keegan Michael-Key in Key & Peele, an American sketch comedy television series that aired from 2012-2015.

It was in this show that Peele began honing his craft and ability of encapsulating his thoughts of various societal issues in a way that didn’t overwhelm the audience.

In “Get Out” however, he steps away from the comedy genre and tells the story of Chris, an African-American man who goes on a trip with his girlfriend Rose Armitage only for the trip to quickly morph into a test of survival that leaves the audience at the edge of their seats until the very end.

“Get Out” has been nominated for Best Picture alongside other titles such as “Call Me By Your Name” and “Dunkirk.”

As well being nominated for Best Screenplay, with Jordan Peele being nominated as Best Director and Kaluuya being nominated as Best Leading Actor.

Though being dubbed a horror, the entirety of the movie is rather suspenseful which sets it apart from a majority of the movies of the genre in recent years. Movies, especially those in horror tend to follow a similar route, leading them to seem predictable and takes the suspense right out of the equation.

The movie is also riddled with metaphors and foreshadowing that may go unnoticed when someone is first watching the movie but when it is over, it is a very evident trail of hints and connections that uncover a deeper meaning.

On the surface, it is a horror film encompassing a protagonist who has to defeat the antagonists in order to survive but just below that, is a movie that speaks on race and its prevalent role in society.

Through a director standpoint, Jordan Peele does an extraordinary job of only allowing the audience to see and know what he wants them to. Every notion we have as the audience is driven by how the movie is presented to us.

Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) is the kind of protagonist that you really want to see survive. He is smart, in the way that he uses cotton to evade falling under hypnosis again and being thrown into the “Sunken Place” again.

Cotton, being an interesting tactic for Peele to choose for him to use, paying homage to its role in the history of slave labor. In Key & Peele, both he and Keegan made names for themselves by the way they could talk about societal issues without losing the power of entertainment.

Rose (played by Alison Williams) played the role of a doting, loving girlfriend well and believably which made her betrayal all the more painful to watch.

Early on in the movie, when they are on the way to see her parents, they hit a deer with their car. When a police officer shows up and asks for Chris’ license, she questions the relevance of it because she was the one driving, not him.

This causes the audience to look at her proudly, because it seemed as though the scene was addressing the issues surrounding minorities and profiling by law enforcement. However, it turned out that she didn’t want there to be a paper trail connecting Chris to her when he was reported missing later on in the movie.

Peele does a fantastic job of making sure that the audience in the end, realizes that every action was calculated, it all meant something.

Though it the film was undoubtedly a horror, the character of Rod Williams (played by LilRel Howry) could be said to be just comedic-relief, but the TSA agent became a crucial ally to Chris throughout this movie.

Williams was the one who pushed for Chris to be labeled as a missing person when communication broke between the two, and he was the one who connected Logan to a man they had known before named Andre Hayworth.

He didn’t leave his friend behind, being the one who rescues him in the end after a grueling battle with the Armitage family.  

With a political climate like the one we find ourselves in, ‘Get Out’ is a horror movie with a plot that can be seen as far-fetched but can still shed some much needed light on the remaining role of race in our society.

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