I am a huge fan of Jordan Peele. Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele would exercise their serious horror chops every Halloween on the Key and Peele show. So when it came to my attention that Jordan Peele would write and direct a full on horror motion picture, I knew I had to see it. Jordan Peele is at the very top of his game with Get Out, a horror movie that is so much more than a horror movie, it was a giant mirror that holds itself up to American society.
Get out stars Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Chris Washington, a photographer that has this girlfriend who invites him to come meet the parents. This is a terrifying experience for anyone who loves another person and hopes the whole experience goes well, but what happens throughout the film goes far beyond all that. The film takes us into a world that many have no idea about, and others know all too well. The film points to a giant elephant in the room that many people in the United States ignore or refuse to admit that it’s there. The film then escalates in intensity and spirals into a darkness. It is a great film with many layers that I can’t even begin to unpack.
I understand that my ethnic make up can be a roadblock to giving this movie the review it deserves. I am a person of northern European descent, who has lived most of his life reaping the benefits of a system created to benefit someone of my hue. Even though I have studied U.S history extensively and I can discuss in detail the differences in opinion between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du Bois, I don’t have the right credentials to say that I know what it’s like to be discriminated against because of the level of melanin in my skin. The closest I ever came to in-your-face-racism was when I lived in Taiwan and the kindergarten kids pushed their eyes together to create round eyes and they laughed at me and pointed at my ridiculous big European eyes.
I have learned however that trying to list my credentials as an ally can also be a racist micro aggression. In the film, the white family felt they had to convince the protagonist, that they were not racist by stating that they would vote for Obama a third time if they could. Do you remember that thing I said earlier about Washington and Du Bois? That’s the same as me running up to one of my black friends and proclaiming that I have read Soul on Ice. Telling you that I have black friends? Yeah also that. Get Out pointed a finger directly at white folks and it feels as though I was listening to Jordan Peele’s actual experiences and some of the actual sentences that he has heard with his own ears.
White people love to check as many boxes that they can to convince someone else they are not a racist, but these days it’s getting harder and harder to hide racists actions or cover up racists attitudes. That is why people take the defensive and get angry about it because they are not allowed to be comfortable hiding behind a smile and an explanation. It’s why you can get into a fight with people just by saying black lives matter. I think this is why films like Get Out are so important, it’s a voice that a lot of us, including myself, need to listen to. We need the reminder and we need it often, otherwise, to our own peril, America will slip backward into being great again.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.