Get Out | Teen Ink

Get Out MAG

June 6, 2019
By EB-04 SILVER, Northampton, Massachusetts
EB-04 SILVER, Northampton, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Jordan Peele (of Key and Peele) makes his directorial debut in “Get Out,” a film that mixes racial politics with horror in a way we’ve never seen before. “Get Out” follows a man named Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya), who is black, and his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), to her family’s country estate. Rose’s father, Dean (Bradley Whitford), makes patronizing remarks to Chris – “I would’ve voted for Barack Obama a third time,” he says – that make Chris uncomfortable and, as the story unfolds, increasingly paranoid. Eventually, Chris realizes that he suspects only the beginning of things darker and more manipulative than he could have ever imagined.

Jordan Peele is most well-known before “Get Out” for his sketch comedy show “Key and Peele.” On “Key and Peele,” the sketches followed a specific structure: quickly set up the premise, establish an interaction between characters, and repeat some form of that interaction a few times. The stakes and emotions between the characters escalate every time, until the comedic climax of the skit. Midway through “Get Out,” there’s a big gathering of Rose’s family and their friends. Chris has increasingly uncomfortable and off-putting interactions with many of them, and both the arc and climax of the scene mirror those of “Key and Peele.”

In one scene there is an interaction late at night between Rose’s mother, Missy (played quietly and eerily by Catherine Keener), and Chris. In this scene, the camera never pans out to the whole room. Instead, it cuts between close ups on Chris and Missy’s faces, trapping you in the literal and figurative claustrophobia of the scene. The tension, anticipation, and dread is impossible to look away from due, in part, to the purposeful directorial choice of keeping you, almost literally, in Chris’s head.

When Chris tells Rose he is suspicious about the way Rose’s family interacts with him and suggests that this is an ongoing problem, she says that these strange instances are isolated and not part of a larger phenomenon. As a white male, I know that I can’t relate to Chris’s experience or know what it feels like to be black in America, but I nevertheless understand “Get Out”’s message: racism is not only perpetrated by police brutality, bigoted politicians, or the KKK. Racism is often a middle-aged, smiling, liberal white man telling you, almost too happily, that he, “would’ve voted for Obama a third time.”

The author's comments:

Get Out is a thought-provoking, eerie, and important film that will be remembered for decades as one of the first social thrillers.

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