Hey all y’all, welcome back.
Recently in PLP we watched another movie. Movies instead of schoolwork sounds pretty great. And I guess it is definitely better than regular work. But it is because we are going to be making our own movie and we want to actually make a good one. A horror movie to be exact, as this whole unit revolves around horror. We know that these movies we are watching fall into the horror genre, but while watching them we are supposed to be analyzing what exactly makes them horrifying. And so, today, I’m going to be explaining what the horror of Get Out by Jordan Peele really is.
This movie is different from the one we watched last time. John Carpenter’s Halloween is from another age of horror movies. Get Out is definitely more modern and comments on our society in many different ways. Jordan Peele, also a comedy actor and director, takes us through this story to scare us, and also provoke thoughts about the African American race in North America. It was exceptionally well done, leaving viewers formulating theories upon theories debating the events in the movie and their significance.
What I believe to be the horror in this movie are the many crazy turns away from typical societal behaviour. In this movie, there are multiple points in the story where Jordan Peele has you confused as to what is about to happen next. You never really know what the characters are thinking or what their true motives are until near the end of the movie. The main plot of the movie is the main character, Chris, and his girlfriend, Rose, go on a weekend trip to Rose’s parents house in the woods in the middle of nowhere. The idea of this should be totally okay, but Jordan Peele makes us think that something is really off, which we will later find out is true. But we are first teased at the idea of something horrific, then awkwardly reassured that everything is okay. But in the back of our minds we know that something is wrong. This right here is the real horror of this film, in my opinion. For example, while Chris and Rose are at the family home, it turns out that the weekend is a large family gathering. And Chris is the only African American person there, other than one strange fellow.
But as Chris is walking around talking to the older family members, he gets some odd looks, and even stranger comments. People try ask him what sports he plays, how fast he can run, and comment on his bicep size. This type of behaviour is exactly what Peele wants to show us. Somehow, it’s so incredibly strange but we can’t really put our finger on why. We then are whisked away from the situation and onto the next one. These encounters are meant to make us really uncomfortable, and for a few brief seconds, believe the worst is about to happen. But then, in this examples case, Rose comes in and says they will go for a walk, and we are left thinking maybe everything will be alright.
This movie is definitely a different type of horror movie. Only a handful of jump scares, and only mild violence and gore, and yet it’s still a horror movie. I believe it’s because of the intense feelings of terror that Jordan Peele makes us experience. He gives us a fright, and also makes us realize the negative stereotypes of African Americans in our everyday lives. There was some debate on the genre of this movie, as it had to be in a genre to receive awards. Some people don’t think it’s a horror movie, and more of a comedy. But Jordan Peele disagrees, and commented on it. I found what he said quite interesting. “Call it what you want, but the movie is an expression of my truth, my experience, the experiences of a lot of black people and minorities. Anyone who feels like the other. Any conversation that limits what it can be is putting it in a box.” (Jordan Peele, on an interview with indiewire.com). He really didn’t feel like calling his film a comedy to be appropriate, as there was nothing to be laughing at. I do agree with him, and think the controversy comes from minimal typical horror tropes, and the nature of the dilemmas in the film. This movie is really a masterpiece, and I think it combines multiple genres to create something better. It is a really great movie that I could go on and on about, as it has so many metaphors and double meanings that only make it better.
To summarize this analysis, this movie is a new type of horror. It has a stronger societal commentary than the typical horror film. The true horror comes from the divergence of societal expectations for a plot that terrifies us to our core. We as the viewers are constantly put on the edge of our seats through extremely strange encounters with characters, and we question their mental state and motivation constantly. Peele also gives our imagination lots of space to grow out of control, filling our minds with the worst possible scenarios, which causes us to constantly be in fear. All of this, and more, combines to make a truly terrifying experience.
And to finish off the post, a brief connection to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. These two stories are quite different, literally one year from being 2 centuries apart. And yet, they both impact our lives. Both stories are commenting on how we judge and treat an individual who we consider to be an outsider. Mary Shelly mainly comments on judging someone by their outward appearance instead of what is inside, which I’m sure everyone has heard of. Get Out comments on how life really is for African Americans. We take on the perspective of Chris, and we’re forced to see white society as a terror as it truly is. In Frankenstein, the creature is not the protagonist or the main character, and yet we feel it’s pain and struggle throughout the whole story. Chris is our main character, and we go through everything he does on the edge of our seat. Overall, the two stories do have both strong and subtle similarities, even 200 years after each other.