“Get Out” is a new horror/thriller movie written and directed by Jordan Peele. It’s got the internet talking, to put it mildly. This week, a few of the NPC’s: Doug Funnie, DJAsh10, Soultron of D&D Sluggers, Godswill, and Mega Ran, saw the movie and had an e-discussion. Here is that conversation.
Question 1: What did you expect from the previews? How did it compare to what you saw?
DOUG FUNNIE: I expected a simple horror movie. Not much was pulled from the previews, since most of the suspense is left in the “meat and potatoes” of the film.
MEGA RAN: I thought this was gonna be a skit from Key and Peele gone 90 minutes too long… a gritty “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” or whatever… But what I saw was completely different on every level. It was darker, smarter and hit harder than any thriller I’ve seen. I can’t stop thinking about it.
ASH10: From the previews, I expected a horror filled, non-stop, heart pumping thrill ride. And I received no less. The movie’s opening scene is wrought with racial commentary and complete with tension-building camera movement, piercing musical jump-cues and abrupt, shocking action. The trailer reminded me of how freaked out I was about meeting my ex’s parents and the movie was all of my fears come to life.
D&D: I don’t know horror too well, but from the trailers I expected a lot of jump scares and cheap thrills.
This was kept to a minimum and the true horror for me came from looking back and realizing what was really going on, little by little getting the whole picture and freaking out a little when I realized how not normal things were.
GODSWILL: To be honest I didn’t think I would like it from the previews. I saw one preview (not sure if there were more since I’m doing my best to not watch previews) and I thought it would be jokey. I didn’t think it would be as serious as it ended up being. I was surprised when my friends thought the previews were hardcore and heavy when I thought the opposite.
Question 2: What surprised you the most about the film?
D&D: I mentioned realizing how not normal things were. What I mean is how the wack, uneducated things we are accustomed to hearing as people of color that we shrug off were even more sinister in the movie. It made me also think about how we shouldn’t be so inclined to play nice/ placate.
G: How much it affected me. Like I’m still shocked about how I’m still thinking of it.
A10: I want to tell you what surprised me most about the film but I feel that there is no way to say it without spoilers. For the most part, the trailer sets the scene and explains that this predominantly white, suburban community is doing something strange with black people. But the what and the why are the most shocking parts of the movie because honestly, it’s not that much of a farce.
MR: The ending…the grand plot reveal… I mean trying to figure out a motivation for all the craziness was hard, but once I got it, I went “aaahhhhhh” along with the rest of the theater. Didn’t see it going there.
DF: Yeah, it was not a scary film, but it was very unnerving.
Question 3: Did you leave the theater with questions? What were they?
A10: Questions? Did I have Questions? Did you even see that resolution?? Psshhhhht.
DF: This is my exact quote. “Wait, was this movie about Rachel Dolezal?”
MR: Ha! Not a lot of questions, just explanations for a lot. It’s literally the manifestation of every person who is against interracial dating’s worst fear. In our communities you hear things like “Don’t date those _____s, they might ______.” So this takes all of the silly prejudices that exist in all of us, and explores them like nothing before it.
Question 4: The film delves into a lot of controversial feelings on interracial dating. Have you had any strange occurrences dating interracially that you’d like to chat about?
DF: Most of my relationships are interracial. So, given that my partner has parents that grew up around that time of Racial Segregation, it’s hard to avoid the awkward conversations. Meeting the parents is always the hardest part cause being a person of color they already have a stereotypical image of the “Black boyfriend”. From there, it’s like “Well, do they know they are being insensitive, or don’t just don’t care?”
MR: Whew. Too many. The most insane one was my mother completely flipping out when I went to visit my then-girlfriend, who was white, in Arkansas for Spring Break during college, without telling her until I got there. I think she just felt like it was a trap and this girl was going to lure me onto a plantation where I would be…wait, I’m saying too much. But seriously my mom almost disowned me over that trip. She called every day demanding that I come home. I eventually bought another flight to get home early and she didn’t speak to me the entire time I was at home. We tried to make it work but that relationship was a wrap by next semester.
A10: Hahahaha, Ran! That’s what my mom thinks everytime I’m in an interracial relationship. I’m sure she was hoping the movie would have the same Effects as the Scared Straight program. When dating people of other races, I’ve never had a problem with their parents/families. But I have run across unusual situations with the people I’m actually dating. It could be anything from micro-aggressions to unconscious biases.
For brevity’s sake, I specifically remember dating a guy for months and randomly on a date he tells me, “ I hope you know that I can’t marry you.” Knowing that I hadn’t even put him in a marriage equation, I jokingly ask, “Oh, why is that?”
Him: “…because you’re black.”
D&D: I feel like my experiences are mostly what you would expect, but I was never allowed to meet my first girl friend’s grandparents because you know. They died not knowing she even had a boyfriend.
G: Yeah I have wondered about this for a good while. I have always thought about interracial dating as my friend group is very diverse. When I first dated a white girl, I ran through all the possible questions of whether she would accept me for my differences, whether her friends would accept me, whether her family would accept me, and so forth. It was pretty crippling and fearsome.
Question 5: Will this movie get any Oscar/Globes talk next year, in your opinion? Why/Why Not?
A10: The racial overtones in the film would normally allow me to easily say that the Academy would never consider it but with the recent Best Picture win from Moonlight and looking back at other Oscar nominated films in the same horror genre, I would say the film may get some noms. Definitely a Golden Globe. The film is first of its kind to successfully create a story so specific and pointed about white privilege, power and the disparities it creates. And it did all of this while still being fantastically and intelligently horrifying.
DF: Daniel Kaluuya should win a Oscar at the very least. I have seen in many previous projects including Black Mirror. Will it? Highly doubtful. The fact he is a English actor and I could not hear his accent at all. I feel that the racist backlash of the “indifferent” critics would only put this film in a negative light. It should at least be CONSIDERED for best original screenplay. The fact that Jordan Peele took roughly 5 years to create this should not go unnoticed.
A10: Yoooooo, I totally forgot that Daniel was in Black Mirror. I spent I spent the entire movie trying to place him. My overwhelming respect for him and the movie just went up 10 more points.
MR: Me too! Wow man British folks really impress me the way they pull off the American English accents. Original it is for sure. Wow.
..but nah. I’d like for it to, and the crazy good reviews lead me to believe the critics have to respect it, but I don’t think so. Unfortunately horror/thrillers aren’t usually in those conversations.. maybe if Emma Stone were the leading lady, haha.
G: I think it will get Oscar talk since it was so good (and as shown this past Sunday anything can happen), but I wonder if the comedy aspects “disqualify” it from winning big.
Question 6: Though most reviews are positive, there is early criticism on the movie stating that it may be “anti-White.” Any opinion on that?
D&D: If the family was abducting robots or aliens, I doubt the “anti-white” sentiment would have come up.
A10: In 1967, white audiences were disarmed when Katharine Houghton brought Sidney Poitier home to meet her parents, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Get Out, by any stretch of the imagination, is not that movie. Anyone expecting the warming feeling of a white family taking a black man in as their own, could have easily seen the film as anti-white. The film painted an extreme situation in order to magnify a deeper, societal issue. Americans don’t like to talk about race because that conversation would have to come with some kind of reconciliation with one’s own history. When people are faced with the worst parts of themselves, they don’t always want to recognize it.
G: My opinion isn’t that it’s anti-White although it is very intense against White people. It’s more like White people are still doing these harmful practices against Blacks that has lasted since slavery times and Jim Crow era. These practices and mindsets undermine true interracial relationships (friends, lovers, colleagues, etc.)
A big thing that came up was whether Whites could see us as individuals and people rather than for our genetics.
tl;dr in my opinion, it’s not anti-White as it’s not like “we hate White people” it’s more like “hey look at us as regular people”
DF: I can see how would one can see it as “Anti-White” but at the same time the film was exactly “Pro-Black”. It’s simply the reality between white and black culture. There is an appropriation of black culture that is portrayed in this film, in as little as it may seem to others is huge for that culture. Those that don’t understand that see it as “Anti-white”
MR – I can see how self-concious folk could feel that way, and watching some of the scenes I felt like “man they’re really laying it on thick…” but they explain it all by the end. It’s justified and helps to push the main narrative, so I’d hardly call it an anti-white sentiment.
Question 7: Give the movie a grade, from A to F, and explain your answer.
DF: A. For multiple reasons, this film gave the audience members (non-african American) feel the awkwardness of people of non-color trying to relate to a person of color based on stereotypes. It’s just painfully strange, no matter the setting. It was enlightening to see that bought to light. It felt “Get out” was a tip of the hat to old school black horror films, like “Tales From The Hood” to bring real life themes to a undiscussed topic.
MR: I’ll give it a B+… great story, true jump scares and awesome twist and story that makes you think. Can’t ask for much more than that from a thriller.
G: I give it an A. I had just seen La La Land and I would say that’s like a B. I’m still thinking of Get Out and I’m telling people to go watch this.
D&D: an A, but queer black folk just barely slipped into the plot…but also surprised they did at all.
A10: I would definitely give this movie an A+. Jordan Peele successful merged a movie about racial tensions in America with a perfectly timed horror movie. Peele consistently tows the line between comedy and horror. Most conspiracy movies die out in the final act, but Get Out continues to reveal new depths to Peele’s genius. The script is tight and well thought, with minor details constantly revealing a deeper significance. Peele unapologetically uses current social fears about cultural appropriation, assimilation, prejudice and abuse of power. With the acknowledgement of these tensions, he builds a foundation to channel it into an intense, morbid terror. And in this, I believe Peele has created one of the most meaningful and terrifying horror films of our time.