If you haven’t heard already, the all-too-realistic horror flick Get Out premiered this past weekend and made some serious impact…
Jordan Peele, of the comedy duo Key & Peele, made his film and directorial debut about a black man named Chris visiting his white girlfriend Rose’s parents for the weekend at their remote, seemingly cozy home. Despite Chris’ discomfort with the goings-on at the family’s estate, he stays to be polite and internalizes the microaggressive comments expressed by Rose’s folks and their friends. When Chris gets fed up with the funny business, he attempts to leave the creepy home but is met with violent resistance from the whole family.
What made this film so on point were the constant unassuming metaphors in every scene. I won’t name all of them for the sake of not spoiling this must-see, but my favorite example was the concept of the “sunken place”: where Rose’s psychiatrist mother hypnotizes Chris against his wishes, which leaves his body paralyzed but his conscious mind awake. This, to me, represents black people’s physical inability to do anything about our oppression although we are somewhat conscious of what’s going on.
Another one was the family’s collective act of luring in successful black men, grooming them, brainwashing them, and then, ultimately, becoming them (through a process I’d rather have you find out in theaters, sorry not sorry!). The abducted black people then went on to become servants and soul-less, hollow shells. If this analogy isn’t already clear, it is totally an allusion to modern and historical slavery. We were taken, forced to work, pressured to assimilate, made to believe lies, and we lose a bit of ourselves every time we deny this still exists. And also, this was completely in reference to how white people possibly want to be us; whether it is for our physical and mental strength, natural beauty, or innate talents.
Okay, I wasn’t going to mention another metaphor, but this one is definitely the best! At the end of the movie, after all the shit that’s happened to Chris, the person who saved him was his best friend Rod. Rod totally looked out for Chris the whole time and knew some weird shit was going on at Rose’s childhood home, and he truly stopped at nothing to make sure his friend was still alive. I think this shows that we black people have to have each other’s backs, and the only people who will save us are ourselves.
I’ll admit it, I’ve seen this movie three times since its launch and every time was a different outlook, but the third viewing was the hardest. It feels satisfying to see a movie you wholly relate to but it’s depressing because it pretty much sums up the black experience. We are constantly being told through messages in media that we’re “other” or “sub-human” and once we confront that, we’re gaslighted into believing that we’re exaggerating or that we should get over ourselves. Please, spare me that bullshit.
Hell, sometimes I even believe the emotional abuse that white supremacy has plagued me, because it’s easier to think that white people have your best interests in mind rather than be suspicious of every one of them. After a while, you want to stay silent about your own oppression so that the oppressors won’t belittle you anymore than they already do, but fuck that. Though many black people are vocal about their negative experiences in the U.S., this movie definitely touched on topics we must all discuss.
There was a happy-ish ending though because Chris was able to escape with his buddy, but where’s our escape? How do we release ourselves from this demon called white supremacy? I’m sure there’s no right answer to that, but I wish it was that easy to get out.
What are your thoughts about the movie? Lay it on me!