[Warning, this is a SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t seen Get Out then turn back now!]
Jordan Peele finally gave in to his horror film fandom. I think I speak for most of America when I say we are extremely thankful, as this film took us on an all too surreal ride. Yes, a lot of this film’s symbolism of past and current race relations/tension in America is painfully apparent as you are watching this film in real time, but that’s the beauty of this film. Let’s take a look at some of the scenes most viewers and critics are pointing out, after leaving the theater.
First up, we have the scene where Georgina (aka Crazy Grandma Armitage) is fixing her hair – looking at her reflection in the glass door in hopes of hiding her scars. This is all while Chris is outside almost getting sacked by Walter (aka Original Salty Armitage/Grandpa) who is never seen without a hat in order to hide his lobotomy scars. This is why we also see Logan (aka Andre the Sex Slave) wearing his straw-hat.
This is all apparent once blind Bill Dauterive (aka Stephen Root’s character Jim Hudson) reveals what the hell Dean Armitage who is played by Bradley Whitford, does with his neurosurgeon skills and where he also assures Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that he doesn’t even care if he’s black; he just wanted his eye for beautiful photography work otherwise known as African American’s “natural gifts.” If you hadn’t figured it out by then, Peele has Rose say, “Grandma” as a seemingly knocked out Georgina ends up in Chris’ getaway car which should have been a dead giveaway.
We also have the scene that is being shared throughout all of Twitter in Rose’s eerie scene of her “innocently” eating Fruit Loops and drinking milk separately which most people agree is Peele’s comparison of never mixing nonwhites with whites.
There are a number of very obvious race symbolism: the bingo scene/slave auction, the sunken place/African American’s being systematically oppressed – paralyzed into in-action in current America & for a sake of time Chris picking cotton to make earplugs in order to avoid Catherine Keener character’s (Missy Armitage) cup and spoon clink trigger.
But I still think Jordan wants us to think deeper. Let’s take a look at the title of the movie and the title of this blog. To me, Jordan is giving a nod to the comedic world in Eddie Murphy’s classic SNL monologue. Murphy compares classic horror film scenarios and how African Americans and white people differ in their reactions to a haunted house. Eddie pointed out that in scary movies, white people always seem to talk themselves into staying in seemingly bad situations. Whereas black folks would turn away if a demonic voice says, “Get out!” Hence, why I added “too bad we can’t stay” as it served Murphy’s next line in the monologue as he walks upstage.
I love Peele’s choice in casting Daniel Kaluuya who plays Chris; the dude is sharp! He gets some help from his buddy Rod, but throughout the movie Chris knows something sketch is going on! He never lets his guard down a hundred percent which ultimately saves his skin.
Let’s go back to the scene where Chris picks at the chair in fear and realizes he has ripped the chair open just enough to MacGyver himself a pair of cotton earplugs. Besides this being Peele’s comparison to Africans being brought over to be used as slaves to pick cotton and systematic racism in current America; this is one of the only times where we see an African American reap from the fruits of his own labor as a black man finally puts himself in a position to “win.” We never see that!
Heck, when we see the blue and red lights flashing after Chris single-handedly takes down that crazy ass Armitage family as most of the audience gasps thinking to themselves, “Great, black man can’t ever catch a break.” That changes as we see hilarious Lil Rey Howery’s character, Rod Williams, pop out of the TSA patrol car, and you can quite literally hear the movie theater roar in cheers as the black man finally gets justice.
Finally, I want to talk about the elephant in the room. Where the heck did the lone Asian man come from and why is he there? And why is there only one Asian in the film? Before, I move forward I want to point out that the Asian communities have been stereotyped, harassed and mistreated since their first stay in this great (but deeply flawed country) and nobody is saying otherwise. But, Jordan Peele didn’t put a Mexican, Native American, or a Muslim-American character. He added an Asian into the script and consciously had someone cast in order to play a part in microaggressions. Asians have a history of owning slaves not only here in the U.S. but in native countries. Black people outnumber Asians 3 to 1 but Asians are seemingly always better off. While Asians may not play a lead role in white supremacy, their willingness to participate in anti-blackness makes them a supporting character. This came to me and I can only assume many others 3 hours after the film.
These aren’t all of the missed symbolisms I wanted to talk about, but I thought I would leave room so we could discuss in the comments. Two things are for sure, Get Out is a horror film but it is also a film about race relations in America. Again, I want to thank Jordan Peele for giving us a two for one sale with this movie. Stay woke throughout this film because Childish Gambino said so.