Under Review: “Get Out” brings social commentary as horror flick

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“Get Out” centers on an interracial couple as Chris prepares to meet his white girlfriend’s parents.

Irene Vazquez, Editor-in-Chief

I’m not the kind of person who willingly pays money to see horror movies. If I want to be scared, I can think about global warming in the comfort of my own home for zero dollars and zero cents. But I heard about the buzz surrounding “Get Out,” and I’m a fan of Jordan Peele, so I decided to give it a shot.

I will tell you right now that this film is worth the exorbitant ticket prices to go see in the theatre.

The premise of “Get Out” is fairly simple: Chris, a young black photographer, and Rose, his white girlfriend, are going to visit Rose’s parents for the first time. Ah, young interracial love. Before they head out, Chris asks Rose if she told her parents that he’s black. Rose laughs at what she thinks is a ridiculous request. The rest of the movie follows this dynamic between Chris, who notices acts of racism by Rose’s family, and Rose, who dismisses them as paranoia.

“Get Out” artistically heightens the fear that follows every black person in America — the second guessing that we have to do every single day of our lives when we see a police car or walk into a room and realize we’re the only black person there. Peele does an excellent job of dramatizing the subtle racism black people endure without dismissing it as overblown. He renders the racism absurd and comedic and we are able to laugh at our own very real fears.

Some of the best acting in the film is delivered by the actors playing Rose’s family’s black servants, Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson). Georgina and Walter are Uncle Tom-esque in their subservience. Chris (and I) can’t believe that they’re okay with their status and treatment. Their manic satisfaction with their lot is one of the viewer’s first clues that something isn’t quite right.

Walter delivers one of my favorite lines in the movie. Chris comments that Walter and Georgina work pretty hard, and Walter (with a scary grin on his face) responds that it’s “Nothing I don’t want to be doing. Nothing I don’t enjoy.” That line has become my catchphrase, and it’s made me aware of the gratefulness people of color are expected to show when they are thrown the most meager of opportunities. The joy that we must express for what we have, lest it be taken away.

Social message aside, “Get Out” is a well-written horror movie. The audience roots for Chris every step of the way; the theatre I was in was filled with shouting as we feared for his safety.

It’s the kind of multi-layered filmmaking that we should be demanding of the movies we watch today. I could go see “Get Out” three times and pick up on some subliminal message or small motif each time I saw it.

Every black person in America should go see “Get Out.” Every white person in America should go see “Get Out.” Every single person in America should go see “Get Out.”

“Get Out” is rated R and has a running time of 104 minutes.