By ANDREA HUETE
By now, you might’ve heard of Jordan Peele’s intellectual thriller, “Get Out.” It’s been a trend on the news, social media, and even celebrities like Chance The Rapper and The Game are igniting conversation surrounding the film by giving out free tickets. I’m here to break down not only the finances, but the incredible intellect that went into creating this film. Note: spoilers ahead in chronological order of the movie.
Right now, according to Box Office Mojo, the highest grossing horror film of all time is M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense” at $293,506,292 in it’s “lifetime” of 18 years. You may have heard of Shyamalan earlier this year for his horror film “Split.” Opening weekend in 1999, “The Sixth Sense” made $26,681,262. “Get Out” made $33,377,060 opening weekend. Over the course of 18 years, will “Get Out” surpass “The Sixth Sense”?
The thing that is the most terrifying about “Get Out” is that it conceptualizes the actual reality of racism in America all while entertaining you for 103 minutes. If you look for the subtle foreshadowing from the beginning, you’ll see a bunch of clues leading up to the bigger story line.
In the opening credits of the movie, they show a bunch of black and white photography, representing the initial contrast between colors, drawing you to think about the lines between black and white society. They show these images as Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” plays in the background. Lyrics state:
they gon’ find you,
gon’ catch you sleepin’,
now stay woke,
now don’t close your eyes
The lyrics alone play into the idea of staying “woke” in a white America as a black person. The lyric of sleeping and closing your eyes connects to the movie from the very beginning. The two main characters are Chris, the black boyfriend in an inter-racial relationship with white girlfriend, Rose.
The couple goes to visit Rose’s family. On their way there, they hit a deer and the police are called. The police officer gives Chris a hard time. This represents subtly the police brutality and differences in treatment due to race.
Upon arrival to the house, we learn that Rose’s family has a black groundskeeper and a black maid. Upon Chris’s initial bonding with Rose’s father, he learns that Rose’s grandfather was a white supremacist who was beat out in the track finals to be invited to the Olympics by a black man. This is foreshadowing for what we learn down the road about Rose’s grandfather switching minds with the groundskeeper, who is shown doing sprints in the middle of the night in the back yard.
This ties into black athletes having an outstanding natural athletic ability. Which is actually blatantly said by Rose’s brother at the dinner table with Chris. This “natural” ability is still currently showing in numbers in basketball, track, tennis and American football. I feel like Peele was tying athletic ability in relation to race in with the 2016 Olympic games when Usain Bolt proved he was truly the fastest man in the world. I think this also subliminally sheds light on athletes speaking up against racial injustices such as Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement during the 2016 NFL season.
Other points within the conversation that Chris has with Rose’s father is that Rose’s white father would have “voted for Obama for a third term.”
If you’re a person of color, some white Americans will use Obama to discredit the reality of racism in America. I’ve heard the words “but how can racism still exist when we have a black president?” come out of the mouths of white Americans way too often.
Jordan Peele is stating very clearly, voting for Obama does not mean you care about the black struggle or that you are not racist. Actually, after Obama was elected in 2008, KKK submissions grew tremendously.
From 2014 to 2015, active hate groups had a 14 percent increase. There are 917 active hate groups in America to date, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
During the couple’s visit at Rose’s parent’s house, they announce a party that they’ll be having for her grandfather, that includes many friends of Rose’s family.
Rose proceeds to introduce Chris to all her family friends, almost all of which are white. They each had something to ask him that is stereotypical to the black community, athletics, art, and even if the sex is better.
New England Patriots tight-end, Martellus Bennett, touched on this earlier in the year with a series of tweets capitalizing on the fact that black children too often are pushed into thinking being a pro-athlete or a rapper is the only way of life.
And too often you hear the phrase “once you go black you never go back” putting potentially unattainable sex standards on black men.
Chris decides he needs a breather, and goes out into the woods to photograph. While this is happening, he and Rose have a conversation about the strange events happening at the house. While they are having this conversation, the movie switches to the father auctioning off Chris to his party goers. There is a photo of Chris and they are auctioning his body off without him knowing in complete silence.
This silence represents how quiet society and the government is in regards to the treatment of black life. That even in modern day, black people are still considered property by some and are in less control of their own life.
They are hosting a modern-day auction of Chris’s body to their guests, just as what was done in slave days, tying in black history.
Within the group of people at the party, there are two people of color. One Asian man, and one black man. The Asian man represents the blind eye that other people of color have towards the black community. The black man’s demeanor represents how it seems white people would prefer blacks to be in America to gain respect.
Once Chris flashes the camera towards the black man, character name billed as Andrew Logan King, he warns Chris about the mental manipulation that is taking place. The camera flash eventually saves Chris’s life at the end of the movie as well. The flash triggers their true self. This represents people being able to “see the light” and “be enlightened.”
Near the end of the movie you learn that Rose’s mother has hypnotized each black man and women that they have kidnapped and enslaved, and brainwashed them into believing that they are doing these actions out of their own free will. Meanwhile, their soul is in “the sunken place” longing to “get out.”
This represents the brainwashing of black America into believing that the system is truly set for everyone to succeed, and that all men are treated equal, as well as believing in “truth liberty and justice for all,” when there are so many injustices done to black America on the daily.
The reason why the family kidnaps, brainwashes, and experiments on black people is because there is an obsession in the white community with certain aspects of black culture. There is a fear of greatness in people of color and a need to continue to suppress and yet attain themselves. There is such a power within, that there are continual campaigns to diminish it.
This continues in society, and we must truly “stay woke” and fight against this oppression and division within society.