Note: Contains spoilers!
I had missed Jordan Peele’s terrifically creative Get Out when it was in theaters, due to working an unpaid internship at the time that did not exactly have me rolling in movie-going money, and also being a weenie who likes the option of turning the volume halfway down when horror movies get horror-y. (Do other people also find visual scariness easier to handle then auditory scariness? What’s that about?)
So by the time I finally watched it this weekend, I had over 10 months of people chattering about Get Out to develop an idea of what this movie would be. Turns out, I had it kind of backwards! I thought it would be a horror movie where it is gradually revealed that the real horror was white liberal racism all along, and that this would dovetail with whatever traditional slasher nonsense-villainy was going on, making everything so much worse for our lead, as well as serving as a sharp social commentary, et cetera. Instead, it’s the white liberal racism that is gradually revealed to be housing the traditional nonsense-villainy, like the tip of a white, white iceberg of yikes. If is, of course, still a brilliantly sharp social commentary.
Other things I hadn’t managed to pick up that I really enjoyed: the gorgeously surreal visuals for the Sunken Place, the gratifying script-flip of having the imperiled main character frequently calling out to his friend in the city to get an affirmation that this is majorly weird, Chris’ powerful arc about the death of his mother (he gets growth! growth in a horror movie!), and of course: the heroism of a T.S.A. officer. Frankly, who could have possibly seen that one coming.
In addition to being able to nervously punch the volume down when Chris walked slowly into the woods after the deer, for instance, another benefit to waiting to see Get Out on DVD was that I could watch the alternate ending with Jordan Peele’s commentary. Interestingly, his original conclusion was the one I totally expected, but once again it ended up being something else. Feeling the culture starting to shift as he made his movie, Peele decided to end on hope instead, seeing that as just as important a thing to model as any. And if you know me, you know I sure love that.