Racism Plays Key Role in Horror Film

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

It is a well-known joke that in most horror movies the black person dies first. Jordan Peele coming off the commercial success of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele is fully aware of this. In Get Out, his directorial debut, he flips the “routine” horror cliché while keeping the film intriguing and amusing. With the use of mild humor and great creepy story telling, Get Out comes together to make an entertaining film with an embedded message.

The story begins with the main character Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) preparing to meet the parents of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). The initial conflict occurs when it’s discovered that Rose had not mentioned Chris’ race to her parents, but the idea is almost immediately brushed off and their journey begins.

As the story unravels, a theme of persistent racism without recognition is consistently shown. The racist aspect of this movie is completely self aware and is used to set most of the humorous tone. The first glimpse of it occurs on their way to the parents’ home when a deer strikes their car and they get pulled over by an officer who clearly racially profiles Chris. Once they arrive to Rose’s home, her family’s blatantly racist comments to Chris are dismissed of any offense it might have.

The horror of the movie first comes into play when Chris is introduced to the parents’ two house workers, who behave strangely. Soon after the mother’s ability to use hypnosis is introduced, which becomes a major factor to the overall creepiness of the movie. When another black man is introduced, we see Chris trigger some sort of mental breakdown and being yelled to, “Get out.” After a build up of events, Chris becomes fully aware that he is in trouble.

Overall, Jordan Peele has made a very successful and game changing movie. With only a $4.5 Million budget, the film earned $30.5 Million on its opening weekend. Although the story was left with a few loose ends, it does not take away from its importance. It is purposefully released at a time when racism is seen to be a major concern in our society. The movie mixes comedy and horror to tell a powerful story about a black man attempting to overcome oppression.

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