I had debated seeing this movie opening weekend, but I have to be in the right mood to see horror movies. After the reviews came out last week, I figured this was one I didn’t want to miss. I didn’t find the plot twist to be all that surprising, once it was revealed, but the build-up and the tension throughout the movie was quite interesting after you see the ending. I will do my best not to SPOIL the movie, but you’ve been warned.
Get Out centers around Chris, an African American man who is dating a white girl. Amazingly in 2017, this is still very much an issue. As they embark on their trip to visit her parents, you see his clear discomfort at going, but being a good boyfriend, he goes along. The apprehension doesn’t fade, even though the girl’s family seems quite kind and good natured. The family has two servants, both African American. Their behavior is also strange, to say the least. The weekend continues with a big party that Chris is told happens every year at the same time. The mother is a hypnotist and the father is a neurosurgeon. The mother somehow manages to hypnotize Chris, helping him to quit smoking, but also face his past and perhaps something more. The party progresses the next day and all of the patrons, save one, is white, and older. Everyone takes a special interest in Chris, as if it were unusual to see an African American person.
Chris’ anxiety increases as he sees a young man who seems familiar. When he sends the image to a friend (a TSA agent), the man is recognized as someone who had gone missing six months prior (in the movie, he is in the very first scene). After this, Chris knows he needs to leave. He stumbles upon a box full of photos of people with the girl he is dating. Two of them are there, the two African American servants. While this clearly raises an alarm, Chris doesn’t suspect his girlfriend until she refuses to relinquish the car keys. The brother (who is played by the same kid who played the brother in The Last Exorcism) easily overpowers him and he’s then revealed what the end result of his visit will truly be.
On the surface, the movie is a classic commentary on racial stigmas. By virtue of being born a different color, Chris is subjected to a very different way of life than the rest of the cast of the movie, save his TSA friend, for the most part. The experience for Chris is, of course, not normal, but the subtle nuances of how people treat him and act towards him are very telling of what a few minutes in the life of an African American person must be. The very first sequence and the very last are telling. In both cases, just by being African American, the two men in those scenes immediately assume they are at fault or need to remove themselves from a situation solely because they know they won’t be treated fairly. In this day and age, this is becoming more and more apparent, especially with the current rise of the white nationalist movement in the White House. A movie like this might open a conversation, but from my experience, those that are racist and bigoted will not see past their own perspective. In some ways, this movie might do the opposite of what it hopes to just by placing all white people as evil (within the context of the movie). If there had been one redeemable white character, the narrative would be vastly different. Towards the end of the movie, one of the white characters claims he’s color blind, but what he is really saying is that he doesn’t care about people of color, not that he cares about them. At one point the girlfriend also states her family isn’t racist, but then why would they only target African Americans? I almost feel like I have more questions about the decisions made by the writer and director. At the very least, no matter your perspective, the movie will make you think.
I forgot to add the overall Hina test score on this when I first posted it. It is hard to argue the diversity in a movie that centers the plot around diversity. It is also hard to argue with strong female characters when the mother of the girl the main character is dating is the one who is masterfully hypnotizing everyone. The girl in question has also been playing the main character perfectly. If you’re looking for diversity, this movie has it. If you’re looking for a movie with strong evil female characters, this movie is for you.