Time for something a little more modern…
So far I’ve written about punk rockers I identified with… Cowboys I identified with… Music writers I identified with… Grumpy music lovers I identified with. In the movie Get Out it’s a little harder for me to identify with… well, almost anyone in the movie… apart from the fact that I’m almost certain that the dog that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) has in his apartment is a Cockapoo. I also have a Cockapoo… So we’re practically the same guy!
I haven’t written about a horror movie yet either. Horror movies don’t generally agree with me. I act tough and pretend like I don’t mind the odd scare every now and again but truth be told I hate being scared. There’s a coat rack at the bottom of the stairs in my house. On that coat rack there is a long black coat and beneath the black coat, on the ground, are my fiance’s black wellington boots… for some reason the other day the boots were stood upright and tucked underneath the end of the long black coat and the hood was hooked onto one of the coat hangers giving the impression that there was a head in it… so it really looked like there was a person there, it really did. I’m not ashamed to say at night when it was dark but I could still make out the silhouette, I walked a little faster past the coat rack…I didn’t move the boots because that would be admitting that I was scared of boots and a coat which is absurd… but my pace did quicken…
The point is I don’t enjoy horror movies. Yet, I absolutely loved Get Out. I always maintain that any genre film done well will work for me. A great movie is a great movie regardless of the genre. I love The Shining too but there are very few Horror movies that I truly appreciate. Even though this movie is one that I loved, you know what would have made this movie better for me? If I had never seen the trailer…
I feel like this might be a good time to say there will be spoilers ahead… although if you’ve just watched the trailer then they’ve spoiled the jinkies out of this movie.
I’m sure some people did see this movie without seeing the trailer first and I’m totally jealous of them. If, like me, you had seen the trailer before seeing it you would already know what type of thing is about to happen. They show you the hypnosis, they show you Chris fighting with the brother… they show you everything. They don’t explicitly tell you what the exact plot is but there are pretty strong hints… I probably would never have guessed what the actual plan was… I mean… it’s a totally insane plan after all.
In a world without trailers imagine watching it from the beginning – you would know that a black guy is kidnapped in a rich white neighbourhood. Then Chris’ story begins…when he gets to his girlfriend’s parents’ house, we as an audience know that something weird is going to happen to him here because we saw it in the trailer. Imagine if you didn’t know. Imagine if we were seeing all this for the first time along with Chris… every ‘What the Hell was that’ moment that happens to him would happen to us as well.
Can you imagine going to see Thor Ragnarok not knowing that the Hulk was in it?
Can you imagine going to see Blade Runner 2049 not knowing that Harrison Ford was in it?
Trailers really ruin some of the surprise of some movies is all I’m saying.
Because of all the twists and turns the movie works wonderfully well on second viewing too. You can see all the little hints of what’s happening… Allison Williams, who plays Chris’ girlfriend Rose, is great, especially in a scene that takes place just before everything starts to go bananas. She ‘pretend’ realises that her parents might be kinda racist because they’re talking differently to Chris than they talk to everyone else and they mistreat Georgina the maid. I say ‘pretend’ realises because she obviously already knows what’s happening. Which is that her and her parents are doing horrendously awful things to black people… but she has to pretend this is all new to her.
The race element of the movie is what make this truly unique. To tap into the experience of black people in America and create a horror story that grows from that is genius. This may come as a shock to most of you but I’m not black. I am one of the extremely privileged white males of the world and therefore can only imagine what it must be like to be a minority in our society. It feels like a weird thing to talk about having not truly experienced racism first hand. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it, but its never happened to me, I’ve never experienced it. I do try my best to see the world through the eyes of others, but I’m sure I’ve said stupid things to people of different races unintentionally. I can barely even begin to understand what it’s like to walk around in a world where people see your race before they see that there’s a person there too and will do and say horrible things to you just because of your skin colour.
There are aspects of this that I am ill-equipped to explain, so here is Jordan Peele, the writer and director, to explain. It’s an interview from CBS This Morning so Charlie Rose is there… I couldn’t edit him out… I apologise
The party scene that he references in the interview is a particularly stand-out sequence. I remember thinking while watching the scene unfold “god, that must be awful” knowing that it’s probably closer to what happens to minorities all the time than I want to imagine. Also shamefully admitting to myself that, although I had no intention of harvesting black people for their bodies and organs, I’ve probably spoken some variation of the awful horrible small talk those white people make. The true horror of the movie is white people trying to relate to black people…
The film has some moments that I will remember all of my life… It was fitting that the moment when Walter the gardener sprints towards Chris became an internet viral thing. That felt like one of those moments you’ll see again and again. I feel like if that happened to me in real life I would be petrified. Pretty much any time Georgina is on the screen it’s fantastic too. In the car… at the end… which they show you in the trailer… I was intensely frightened by that.
I feel like even if you’ve seen it before that you should watch this scene again.
I found this scene so chilling. It’s so slow and deliberate and continues the growing sense of strangeness and unease in the house. The actress in the scene Betty Gabriel is outstanding. When you see this the first time you’re unaware of who she truly is so you don’t notice the moment when the real her, the real person that she is, tries to come out. Its so subtle and played so well that on first viewing it just increases the level of confusion over what’s going on. She should win a supporting Oscar for this!
Speaking of Oscars, this movie is picking up a lot of award and Oscar buzz. The Oscars in the last few… well I was going to say years but I suppose it’s decades… has resembled the Armitage all white house party from the film… Get Out 2: Chris Goes To The Oscars!