The horror/thriller film industry is mostly garbage. Just trash. There used to be gems like Rosemary’s Baby, Misery, and Silence of the Lambs. There was depth, some gore, and a lot of thought put into these films. And they were scary. Terrifying and more than just jump scares, they possessed that eerie, ominous “Where the hell am I gonna pee my pants next?” kinda feeling. When I saw Get Out the first time, I got those tiny-little fingers on the back of my neck and up my spine, reminiscent of when I saw The Shining or The Exorcist. And to call that feeling a comedy because there were comedic elements in the film is wrong. No clever simile needed.
On a budget of just $4.5 million, “Get Out” amassed a $253 million dollar box-office haul, its Rotten Tomatoes score is 100%. Err…it was until one reviewer decided it was a “return of the get-whitey movie.” I suggest you find Armond White on Twitter, FB, or Instagram and overwhelm him with hate comments. Not the racial-kind, cuz he’s black, but just hater-ation-level comments. The kind that MJB describes. Yeah, that kind.
I was in the theater. People were shouting. Giving heavy applause, jumping to their feet. I even cried a little during scenes—either out of joy, or sadness at the very real depiction of how real the struggle is to be black and date outside your race—because the film does shove truth in a viewer’s face. It’s rare that a film can even come close to being that honest. Even rarer is a film that can elicit that kind of response from its audience!
LIVE TODAY 3pP/6pE: @StevenBarnes1 & I will discuss the #GetOut art reception last night, why the film is such a cultural phenom and the upcoming launch of the PUBLIC version of my #BlackHorror class, The Sunken Place. https://t.co/cbcUvnqtia (Updates: https://t.co/Ugeqoc05Hy) pic.twitter.com/7ZqORMWlM6
— Tananarive Due (@TananariveDue) November 18, 2017
Then there’s the influence the film has had culturally. For example, just one aspect of a scene in the film is now an entire UCLA course called “The Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic.”
With such an original, groundbreaking film, so highly lauded and financially successful, on a shoe-string budget, I can only scratch my head. The highest grossing film for a first-time director in American had been The Blair Witch Project, back in 1999, with $140 million dollars. Now it’s this Jordan Peele production, with $175.5 million in the US. Another first: Peele crossed $100 million dollars in his debut effort as a black man. Yes. We coming up!
Get Out should be able to define itself as whatever the hell it wants to. Blumhouse, the producer, stated that there was a greater chance for Get Out to win an award if it were placed in the Best Picture-Musical or Comedy category. Really? Well, thanks. Kinda wish we could have re-categorized Driving Miss Daisy so that Do The Right Thing could have won the Oscar for Best Film in 1989.
#GetOut being nominated as a comedy is the literal definition of how white people and people of color see racism. For them, it's just a joke that POCs need to "get over." And for us, racism is like a cascade of horrors that never cease.
— Crutches&Spice♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) November 15, 2017
I hear critics mentioning how real the Tuskeegee Syphillis Experiment was and how connections can be drawn with that horrible abuse of human rights and the film’s overall dark, cerebral theme of mentally manipulating blacks who would not willingly become servants and play-things to whites. But that screams slavery to me, more so than any other aspect. There is a scene in which blacks are being quietly auctioned off in the backyard of the family mansion, with an enlarged photo and description.
Peele told comicbook.com, “The reason for the visceral response to this movie being called a comedy is that we are still living in a time in which African American cries for justice aren’t being taken seriously.” It should not be considered a comedy. I don’t agree with Peele that it’s a documentary, but it is horror with levity about the continued plight of the black community, could double as a thriller, possibly a drama, but nowhere near a comedy. Thanks anyway. These award givers will be dumbfounded as soon as Peele directs the newest incarnation of The Twilight Zone. I can’t wait. Buckle up, get a blanket, and some popcorn, and your honey, and let’s watch, together, who’s about to drink, and who’s about to stir, the symbolic tea. Game on.