Film review: Jordan Peele’s horror comedy Get Out

Get Out gave the impression that all the characters lived under illusions, whether their own or falling into the traps others set. Overall, the film is a good reminder and example of not learning from the past and is a neon sign for what could happen if we become either too exclusive, we lack the perception that we hurt others around us, or we are too passive and do not want to stir the waters that look so quiet.

Director Jordan Peele enlightens his audience on the future possibilities regarding if the nation returned to its former historical state. He starts the movie with two main characters, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams), an interracial couple who are completely in love and passionate about each other.

Or so it would seem.

The horror lies in the tragedy of the all-too-familiar personal struggles in how the past has power to influence the forgotten days. Exploring that horror consists of so much, from Rose’s SUV hitting a deer to the contrast in Rose’s family workers’ mannerisms compared with their owners’—for lack of better terms.

The colors of red and blue also appear to symbolize the American flag. While Rose and her parents wear red, Chris wears blue. Red may resemble blood on hands from people in the past, as blacks struggled to break free from their oppression, whether in wars or violence in their own streets. Meanwhile, blue reflects not only a depressed mood but also the Harlem Renaissance period where African Americans first explored their freedom in their identities through art, music and writing.

In the film, Chris is a photographer who captures moments through people’s interactions, personalities and interests. He’s the only one who seems to be genuinely interested in stepping outside of his comfort zone so he can learn about others or figure out the darkness that lurks behind superficial faces.

The music used throughout the film perfectly matches the genre between horror and comedy, both moods challenging to accomplish in itself without being cheesy. The musical scores match at the perfect moments when providing a foreshadowing or comedic relief. An example of this is when the instruments orchestrated in the part when Walter, the groundskeeper, nods at Chris and gives him a creepy smile when he first arrives. It gives off a creepy feeling that punches your gut and you receive an initial impression where the audience begin to wonder what is going on behind the scenes.

But Chris’ fears appear to be, at first, relieved when he meets his girlfriend Rose’s parents who exchange playful jabs with each other. The jabs are seemingly innocent comments that have grown popular in society, are often damaging since they create stereotypes and expectations of who a person is supposed to be instead of learning who the person is and what makes them an individual.

One element to introduce the audience to Chris’ conflict with Rose’s family is when her mother Missy (Catherine Keener) scrapes her teacup with her spoon. When she first does that, Rose’s father Dean (Bradley Whitford) calls attention to it, warning Chris (jokingly) about her perfected ability to hypnosis. The scraping is grating and obnoxious, and honestly one of my own pet peeves. But it becomes steadier the more she does it and lapses into a rhythm to seduce Chris despite him having told her he does not want to undergo the hypnosis.

But after Rose’s parents pose a seemingly innocent question about Chris’s parents, Chris’ barriers break down. He tells the family members about his struggle, trauma, and guilt for his mother’s hit-and-run when he was 11-years-old.

Missy uses that to tear Chris down and imprison him in a dark place below the floor. She lets the guilt torment him and the ghosts of his past haunt him to the point where he feels less than human because of his helplessness.

On the other hand, Rose ultimately deals with her day of reckoning toward the end of the film where she gets a glimpse into the life she had with Chris. The audience receives the impression that she might have regretted betraying him, but the snide look on her face also makes the audience wonder if she was leading him on like she had in the beginning.

Maybe Rose’s performance in her love relationship with Chris was following what her parents had taught her without thinking for herself.

Overall, the film helped enhance the audience’s self-awareness about how we handle our own interactions with others in the sensitive nature and altering the language in which we speak to others.

If you are open-minded, you quickly start examining your own potential but unintended prejudices with your background and where you grew up in relation to someone else with a totally different background you may have nothing but assumptions about.

Like the question Chris posed to Rose: “Has anyone here met a black person who didn’t work for them?”

To prevent repeating the past, there needs to be a progression of changes throughout history. Change is able to only occur when you can tear down barriers and take a chance at being vulnerable. Sometimes you may get hurt, but in the end, you strengthen because of it.

“We go to the theater to be entertained,” Peele told Scott Mendelson, contributor for Forbes. “But if what is left over is sort of eye-opening on some social issues, then it can be a really powerful piece of art.”

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