When you think of racism in America, what comes to mind? Images of right-wing rednecks wearing red caps, cries of making America ‘great again’, and promises of building a wall can feature as assumptions associated with ideas of modern racism in society. Well, Jordan Peele in his directorial debut avoids such stereotypes. Labelled by Peele as a ‘social thriller’, Get Out questions the idea of a ‘post-racial America’, taking aim instead at the neoliberal, social elite. The film highlights what have come to be known as ‘microaggressions’ – indirect, subtle, or even unintentional forms of discrimination against minority groups. Even in a world where discrimination is increasingly challenged, microaggressions still go under the radar, seeming innocuous or minor and therefore difficult to explain to those who have not experienced them. They reveal the ever-present systemic ignorance and bias that exists today, even in the most self-proclaimed liberal societies.
Somehow, though, Peele handles this in a way that doesn’t feel preachy or heavy. His genius comes from the combination of this with the classic genre of horror. The film was heavily advertised as such – you only have to look at its trailer. As an audience member you enter apprehensively, expecting a scare around every corner. As you sit, waiting for the inevitable axe to fall, you’re given a taste of the guarded tension marginalised people feel every day. Upon the reveal (which, okay, I’ll admit is a little far-fetched), these microaggressions have been the horror you’ve experienced. Peele sprinkles his satire into the horror, making points whilst not forgetting what we’re all here for – a bit of scary fun. When the film’s climax comes, you can bet you’ll get your money’s worth.
Well shot with a sizzling soundtrack and strong performances across the board (and only a few dumb horror sound effects), Get Out is well worth your time.
Featured Image Source: Still from the trailer via Youtube / Universal Pictures