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‘Get Out‘ is a masterpiece

| Thursday, March 23, 2017

Over break, I finally had the chance to burst the “Notre Dame bubble” and catch up with the rest of the world. No, I did not spend my break reading up on all the current global turmoil and political disasters. Instead, I headed to the movie theater with some friends to see the latest movie craze — Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what to expect. I’d seen all the hype the movie was getting, but seeing Peele’s name front and enter led me to expect a stupidly funny parody a la “Scary Movie.” Perhaps the raving reviews from intellectuals and celebrities alike, as well the 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (it was only kept from 100 percent by one critic — the very same one who prevented “Toy Story 3” from reaching the coveted perfect score) should’ve clued me in that this movie was a lot more than a farce.

Chris and Rose are a perfect couple, young and beautiful. The fact that he is black and she is white wasn’t even a blip on their radars — until she decides to bring him home to meet her family. Without giving too much away, “Get Out” took me by complete surprise by being simultaneously one of the most wickedly funny and terrifying movies I’ve ever seen. The unique thing about it is that there’s little that separates the moments that made me laugh versus the ones that caused me to jump in fear. The most scary elements of the film were tinged in a very purposeful humor — take the scene where a young white man uses a lacrosse stick as a brutal weapon, for instance. Aside from the jump-scares (and there were plenty), what really makes this movie scary is the fact that the horror isn’t disguised by a mask-wearing psychopath or a disfigured monster. The real terror shines through in the almost-recognizable elements of everyday society that Peele masterfully shaped into a sinister and bloody tale.

My laughter flowed freely at first, when the absurd behavior of the white people seemed foreign and comically stereotypical. Eventually, however, my giggles shifted to more of a nervous titter, as I checked around the theater to make sure it was okay for me to laugh; I began to recognize that I was witnessing behavior that I had experienced in my own life, if not quite as exaggerated. Rose’s pedantic father, who humbly shows off all his luxuries and memorabilia from his extravagant travels while giving Chris a tour of the home, could be one of any successful person from my neighborhood. The borderline-insane brother represents the extreme mentality of the incredibly privileged and well-off frat star. “I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could” is tossed around, both in the movie and in real life, as a meager attempt to show just how not-racist someone is. These minor details and characteristics of Rose’s white family and friends seem unimportant until their far more sinister intentions are slowly revealed as the movie continues.

I left the theater in as state of shock, trying to wrap my head around what exactly I had just seen and how I felt about it. To be honest, I’m still forming new thoughts and opinions about the movie. One thing for certain, however, is the Jordan Peele defied every expectation I had for this film, and created a masterpiece horror-comedy that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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