My original plan for today’s post had been to write about Black Mirror, thinking I hadn’t written about the show before. And after getting some photos from the current season, a little voice in the back of my head said, “Hey now – maybe you should just double check to see if you’ve written about that show in the past”. So I did. And lo and behold, I have written about Black Mirror before! It’s been a little over a year, and there’s been a new season which was fascinating and disturbing in a whole new set of ways, but considering the time between now and last November is so short, I’m forcing myself to choose something else. Thankfully, I can keep myself in the same mindset of technology-horror (sort of?) while also getting to talk about an Oscar-nominated movie! That’s right – if you hadn’t already known from the post title, today we are talking about Get Out.
I obviously heard about this movie when everyone else did last winter. It was the breakout hit of the season, and everyone was talking about it. Have you seen the Jordan Peele horror movie? It’s amazing. It speaks to what’s going on in the world. It’s not really a horror film – it’s more than that. Basically, a lot of chatter about how good it was. I was busy with wedding planning, and helping to cart stepdaughters to school, but the truth is, I was scared. Not in the “oh no, I’m going to out myself as a secret racist” or some malarkey like that, but in the “oh no, I’m not sure I can handle the jump scares” kind of way. Because I am a legit scaredy-cat. I never watched Stranger Things because the first episode was just spooky enough that it has kept me away for more than 18 months at this point. I watched the Walking Dead (and stopped when the Negan stuff happened), but for a long time would only do so during the daytime, or with someone else in the room. Fortunately, there were plenty of articles out there assuring me that the content of Get Out, while scary, wasn’t too scary for a scaredy-cat.
Still – life got in the way. I had a busy year. And then I saw that Get Out was on HBO, and I could watch it on demand. Hurrah! But that was late in 2017, and I confess that I only watched it in early January on one of the days that I stayed home sick with the flu.
And oh my goodness, it was just as good as expected. The story is fairly simple – a young black man (Chris, played in a Best Actor nominated role by Daniel Kaluuya) is going with his girlfriend of a few months (Rose, played by Allison Williams of Girls fame) for a weekend at her parents house upstate to meet them. He is tentative about the potential for awkwardness/racism from old people, but she reassures him that they will be cool with their relationship. And yet, even from their drive up, when a police officer is taking a statement after a deer runs into their car, things begin to seem weird. Nothing is as it should be. Chris is smartly suspicious, but like any good horror movie character, is also quick to ascribe most actions as having a reasonable explanation. Good thing his best friend Rod is helping to keep him vigilant, and is on the lookout for weirdness!
I could go into spoilers here, since it’s been nearly a full year since the movie came out. But I managed to avoid the big twists and plot-lines for nearly a year myself, and if there are others out there who have achieved the same feat and happen to read my blog (hey all 2 of you!), then who am I to ruin an amazing movie? Suffice to say, I was surprised at where the story went, and yet it sort of made sense in a creepy, messed up way. The article I linked to above (about scaredy-cats watching the movie) was right and helpful – there aren’t a lot of jump scares, and it does tend more towards scary ideas in a thriller than just plain scary. I would love to hear more from the filmmakers and others about this movie’s perspective on race in America (and especially where they anticipate things going in the age of Trump).
Basically, what I’m saying is that I’m so glad I finally saw this movie, I wish I had seen it earlier, and I highly recommend it to those who haven’t seen it yet. I think it’s deserving of it’s quartet of nominations, and hope that it wins at least one, because for a horror-thriller about race that was released in what is traditionally movie-dumping-period for Hollywood would be a coup. And that’s the kind of change in Hollywood that is more than necessary.
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Original Screenplay.