Get Out: a fictional masterpiece by Jordan Peele that illustrates what goes wrong when you put too much blind faith in those we perceive to be “woke.”
Get Out follows the story of Chris, a black male, whose seemingly normal visit to his white girlfriend Rose’s family quickly takes a dark turn. Many horror films that deal with race—The Cabin in the Woods and The Purge franchise, for example—feature Southerners or the KKK terrorizing black characters. However, Get Out’s antagonist is a suburban white family who was viewed as being progressive. Get Out was immediately seen as a nightmare to most African-Americans; but after further analysis, it becomes clear that the themes of Get Out should worry all Americans. As the movie progresses, Jordan Peele introduces many subconscious ideas that should cause the audience to stop and think—under the fictional narrative of the movie, is there any fact to Chris’s experience?
In the beginning of the film, Chris and Rose are stopped by police officers. When one officer asks Chris for his identification, Rose steps in and accuses the officer of being racist. As events unfold, it is revealed to the audience that maybe the police weren't being racist, but rather doing their jobs. This plays into the liberal mentality that all police officers are bad and racist and out to do harm. Instead of hearing the officer, the viewer unconsciously allows his bias about the situation take over and see the police as villains.
Another subconscious idea is placed into our heads in the scene when Chris plucks cotton from his chair before the trance-inducing brain procedure. It isn't until Chris takes the cotton out of his ears that the audience realizes that Chris picked the cotton to save his life. Ironically, something that many blacks were once killed for, cotton, saves Chris’s life.
Finally, the scene that everyone in my movie theater gasped over—the ending. With Rose shot by her “grandad” and Chris choking her out, the audience begins to see the hues of red and blue lights—the police. We feel the sinking feeling in our guts that we all know how this ends, with the black guy always being screwed over in the end no matter what the situation is, but Get Out changes that—or did it? In an unreleased final scene, the actual police arrive rather than Chris’s ally Rod, arresting Chris and jailing him. The idea that we all assume the black character will be held accountable for violence plays back into the question of what parts of this movie are fact or fiction. Have we as a society come to expect that the black man will always be charged with the crime, regardless of his guilt? How can we transverse day-to-day with all these subconscious ideas eating us up?
In the end, Get Out gives the viewer a lot of powerful ideas and imagery. More importantly, it shows how many prevalent societal ideals and biases we hold within our subconscious. Get Out leaves the audience with a final question. What do we do? How do we fix this? Most importantly, where do we go from here?