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The Scarlet

Review of “Get Out”

CUFS Brings Jordan Peele’s Horror Film to Clark

Daniel Juarez, Managing Editor

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Thinking about what the hell I’d just watched as the credits started to roll, I left Jefferson 320 and caught myself wondering how truly aware people are of their own outlooks towards others, and whether or not they’d taken the time to evaluate said attitudes. Maybe that’s too big or too deep of a topic to open my first ever movie review on, but what would be if it weren’t honest? Written and directed by Jordan Peele, who fans will recognize as one half of the hilarious and concluded comedy series “Key and Peele,” “Get Outis a taut, scary, slow burn of a movie.

         I’ll say that the greatest strength that the film has going for it is creating and staying within an atmosphere that not many people, me included, would choose to engage in or expect to find in a horror movie. I’d avoided any trailers (as well as the really annoying youtube ads for it) when it first came out in theatres, and I’m glad I did. Right from beginning, the very well done one-take opening, you’re left wondering where the film’s going to go, and believe me, there are a bunch of different directions it could’ve taken. But instead of going into any of my guesses as to what evil force was at work, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is a film about race.

Yes, race is at the forefront of the movie, but it doesn’t detract or pull you away from it: the opposite happens. “The Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” inspired premise of our black hero, Chris meeting the white family of his girlfriend, Rose, is something that has been done numerous times before. But the simple act of injecting modern race themes elevates the movie to stand out from the rest.  At the first mention of a movie about race, you’d probably expect some in-your-face, super, over-the-top prejudiced characters who the audience is immediately supposed to identify as the antagonistic side characters.

Not the case here. The film’s focus isn’t on Neo-Nazis, (or the “Far-Right,” as they call themselves), staunch conservatives, or even moderate conservatives, but on liberals: people who preach and scream from the hilltops that race-relations can improve. The film expertly shows how sometimes they do more harm than good, which really made me, a Latin-American at a liberal arts college, question how many people I’ve interacted with, though well-intentioned, may say something passively-prejudiced without even knowing it. The way in which the film chooses to focus on these decent but very flawed people, and their antiquated way of displaying their vices is something so unconventional that worked perfectly for the situations that played out.

A final disclaimer that I should point out is that there are some really awkward WTF scenes that made me cringe during my viewing of the movie. You might have the same reaction, but I guarantee you that the build-up of these scenes, the payoff for all of it works well in the end while succeeding in sending its message (and when you’re talking about a sensitive issue, it’s bound to create discomfort). I walked away from the movie pretty freaked out and a bit more paranoid than usual, with the conclusion that it’s an effective film for both horror-enthusiasts and those aware of the racial politics facing modern America today. If either one of these describe you, do yourself a favor and go watch it on Netflix, Hulu, whatever. Unless horror movies aren’t your thing (that’s usually a deal-breaker).  

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The student news site of Clark University
Review of “Get Out”