Get Out is Jordan Peele’s first horror feature film. Released in 2017, it took the world by storm. A sense of mystery and tension looms over the audience as we desperately wait for the dramatic shift. The thrill of it all will have you sweating.
Under all its horror elements, a clear message lies. But, of course, it can’t be a Jordan Peele film without sparks of his hilarity and sense of humour. Inspired by The Stepford Wives, Rosemary’s Baby and Peele’s own nightmares, Get Out.
Division Between Racism and Class
The United States has had a long history of discrimination towards black Americans, the most prominent period being the slavery of many during the 1800s. Rich white Americans would trade black Americans as free labour, for work such as tending to cotton farms and doing household chores.
Chris appears to be of the middle class. On the other hand, the white folks around him seem to be dripping with wealth. Despite their kindness, they act in a unique way around Chris; their increased use of slang or eerie curiosity about his race becomes quite evident. This brings me to-
Now, as we progress further as a society in the 21st century, people of colour rose to a more equal playing field. Though many people today may not express their prejudice, racist thoughts and beliefs still permeate our society, only more subtly than before.
In Get Out, the Armitage family seem to be accepting of people of colour. They treat Chris with respect as he’s invited to their home. Even when the family’s true intentions were revealed, no racial slurs or discriminatory language were ever said. They refer to black people as people gifted with strong and able bodies.
This was far from a harmless compliment, however. The Armitages never viewed their dark skin counterparts as people, but as items to sell, and use, dating back to white American’s history of slavery.
Spoiler Alert: The Alternate Ending
Did you know? Get Out has an alternate ending. In fact, it was the original ending before Peele rewrote the ending to what we see in the film today.
A quick recap-
After Chris spares Rose from strangulation, red and blue police sirens blare and Chris surrenders, accepting his arrest before it happens. To our joy, Rod emerges from the car door.
In the original ending, Rod does not save the day. Instead, our shock comes true. Two police officers rush towards Chris with their firearms drawn. In a world where the richer and lighter-skinned have a greater advantage, Chris’ imprisonment was inevitable.
In prison, Rod pays Chris a visit. The two share a heartfelt moment with each other which was portrayed wonderfully by actors, Daniel Kaluuya and Lil Rel Howery. Despite everything he had gone through, Chris expresses that his soul had been set free.
The guilt of leaving his mother to die haunted him for life. In desperate times, his will to risk his own life to rescue Georgina had given him a release.
Not unlike many black men in America, Chris had been unjustly arrested. Yet, the film ends on an questionably positive note (similarly to ‘Us’ and ‘Nope’). Despite the outside world crashing down on him, Chris is at peace with his own inner demons.
“By the time I was shooting it, it was quite clear that the world had shifted”, Peele comments. “Racism was being dealt with. People were woke. And, people needed a release kind-of hero, which was why I changed the ending and had Rod show up at the end.”