Logo for horror movie Get Out

Daniela Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

This horror movie begins when, after 5 months together, photographer Chris Washington reluctantly agrees to meet the parents of his girlfriend Rose Armitage, unsure of a warm reception – he’s black, and they’re white.

 

At first, Chris reads the family's super attentive and overly accommodating behaviour as their way of dealing with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

 

“The movie is making people think that you can really use genre to tell very, very important messages,” says Producer Jason Blum. “It makes people second-guess instantly dismissing genre in a way that they haven’t before,” he added. “If you can make genre movies that make the world a better place, I think that’s a good thing”.

The question about genre was raised when the film was nominated in the ‘Best Comedy or Musical’ category for the next Golden Globes – and social media went nuts. Allison Williams, who portrays sinister girlfriend Rose Armitage, said it was challenging to explain the film to people. “I know this firsthand from trying to describe it to my friends and family,” Williams said. “That was really hard. It’s kind of, ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ with a little ‘Key and Peele.’ And everyone was like, I have no idea what you’re describing.”

Get Out marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele – one half of comedy duo Key & Peele – and something of a departure from the genre that made him famous. Peele says that comedy gave him the grounding to make a horror film – though the film mixes drama, horror and comedy particularly well – because both genres rely on pacing of the story to be successful. Inspired by movies like The Stepford Wives, Peele says that Get Out is a horror movie, but with a satirical premise. Asked about the subject of racism which is at the heart of the film, he said that although the story is personal, it quickly veers away from being autobiographical.

 

Variety wrote that the idea of marketing the film as a horror movie was a “good marketing hook” after it debuted at a midnight screening at the Cannes film festival, based on the fact that it’s difficult to pigeonhole. “It’s a little Alfred Hitchcock, a little Mike Nichols, a little Rod Serling, but not really like any of them. It’s a deadpan social satire mixed with suspense”.

Prior to the release of the film Peele was concerned about its chances of success, telling The Los Angeles Times: “I thought, 'What if white people don't want to come see the movie because they're afraid of being villainized with black people in the crowd? What if black people don't want to see the movie because they don't want to sit next to a white person while a black person is being victimized on-screen?'"

Film Critic Roger Ebert said: “Peele understands that every time a black man goes home to visit his white girlfriend’s parents, there is uncertainty and unease. He’s merely turning that up, using an easily identifiable racial tension to make a horror movie”.

 

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