After scoring a rare 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes (and a pretty rave review from our own Teresa Jusino), Get Out dominated the domestic box office this weekend. Made for less than $5 million, the film has already brought in $30.5 million, unseating The Lego Batman Movie in the #1 spot.
Get Out is directed and written by Jordan Peele, of Key & Peele fame. It follows a young African-American man, Chris, who travels to meet his white girlfriend’s family for the first time. Once they arrive in the predominantly white town where her parents live, things start to get strange and scary.
In a September interview, Peele described the film as “one of the very, very few horror movies that does jump off of racial fears. That to me is a world that hasn’t been explored. Specifically, the fears of being a black man today. The fears of being any person who feels like they’re a stranger in any environment that is foreign to them. It deals with a protagonist that I don’t see in horror movies.”
“This movie is also about how we deal with race,” he told the New York Times in a more recent interview. “As a black man, sometimes you can’t tell if what you’re seeing has underlying bigotry, or it’s a normal conversation and you’re being paranoid. That dynamic in itself is unsettling. I admit sometimes I see race and racism when its not there. It’s very disorienting to be aware of certain dynamics.”
Key & Peele frequently parodied horror films, from The Shining to zombie apocalypses, so it’s no surprise that Peele wanted to move into a genre he clearly knows well. In that same Times interview, Peele said, “The best comedy and horror feel like they take place in reality. You have a rule or two you are bending or heightening, but the world around it is real. I felt like everything I learned in comedy I could apply to this movie.”
I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I’ll leave you with Teresa’s summary from her review:
Get Out is going to be one of those movies that people are going to talk about years from now as being a valuable encapsulation of our times. It’s smart and unflinching about issues of race, offering a much-needed commentary on today’s political dumpster fire, even as it serves on the surface as a competent, well-executed thriller. I would highly recommend checking it out when it hits theaters this weekend. Get Out is exactly the thriller we need right now.
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