Get Out is the directorial debut of comedy writer Jordan Peele who has taken a page out of the Quentin Tarantino wish fulfillment fantasy playbook. Unlike Tarantino, Peele operates in the much more lucrative horror genre, his film grossing $184 million worldwide against a mere $4.5 million budget.
Peele's protagonist is black photographer, Chris Washington, who agrees to visit his white girlfriend Rose's family (the Armitages) in an upstate suburb. While driving up to the house, there is a bit of foreshadowing of even stranger things to come, when Chris and Rose unexpectedly hit a deer and then have an unpleasant encounter with a state trooper where Rose can't conceal her contempt for law enforcement in general.
Before even meeting the parents, Chris is unnerved by the almost zombie-like behavior of the black groundskeeper and housekeeper, Walter and Georgina. Rose's parents, Dean, a neurosurgeon and Missy, a psychiatrist/hypnotist are depicted as white liberals, with Dean proudly telling Chris that he voted for Obama twice. Rose's brother Jeremy is unable to control an ingrained hostility and has little to do except attack Chris later on when it becomes clear the entire family suffers from a malevolence usually associated with typical horror film tropes.
As for the plot, somehow Chris (due to losing his mother in a car accident when he was a kid) is susceptible to Missy's hypnotic commands, sending him to "the sunken place" where he appears to not only lose consciousness but finds himself at the mercy of the creepy Missy. Soon a coterie of Armitage family friends show up at an annual get-together and it becomes clear that all these white folks are part of a conspiracy to subjugate black people through a series of actions that defy all logic.
For example, when Chris takes a picture of Logan, a recently kidnapped black man from NYC, the camera flash causes him to become hysterical and yell at Chris to "get out." Quite conveniently, the flash isn't enough to break Logan completely out of his fugue state nor is Chris able to simply walk away and call the police, as the mere tapping of a spoon on a tea cup, causes Chris to fall back under Missy's spell.
Peele's universe proves even more ridiculous when Rose is exposed as part of the family conspiracy to grab Chris and plant the brain of Jim Hudson, their older blind art dealer friend, into Chris' head. Somehow, this time, Chris breaks free of the hypnotic command and is able to contact his TSA agent friend, Rod, in NYC, who all along suspected that there was something very sinister afoot with these "crazy" white people.
The wish fulfillment is on display when the stereotyped white liberals get their comeuppance at the hands of the noble Chris. Peele does a great disservice to true victims of racism by reducing the tormentors to a group of straw men and women who are easily set aside. In real life, of course, racism is a far more complicated affair and sometimes the victims turn out to be as bad as their oppressors.
Get Out marks a new low in race relations with Peele setting a poor example for impressionable youth. Instead of trying to mend fences, Peele is content to present African-Americans as perennial victims at the hands of stereotyped white tormentors. No race or ethnic group has a monopoly on benevolence despite Peele's lame and misguided outlook to the contrary.
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