I’m going to say upfront that I’m not generally a huge fan of the horror genre. It’s not the terror, it’s the frequent lack of payoff or what I would consider a reasonable explanation. Scaring the audience for the sake of scaring the audience doesn’t sit well with me and “because there was a killer clown,” is not a satisfying enough plot point to keep me hooked.
I need a motivation for said clown and a lot of horror movies just don’t fill in those blanks, and they don’t have to. I understand it’s a genre thing and comes down personal taste, so I generally just steer clear.
However, sometimes the most terrifying stories aren’t that far from our very familiar reality, “Get Out” made the most of that everyday terror.
“Get Out,” written and directed by Jordan Peele (who you probably know from Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele”) goes beyond the shock factor of the genre to explore the dark parts of human nature, modern society, and wraps it in a truly stunning piece of science-fiction (ish), comedic (at times) storytelling.
Meeting the parents of someone you’re dating can, no doubt, be a terrifying experience under ordinary circumstances, but the terror of making a good impression doesn’t come anywhere near the ordeal Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) faces when he heads to the suburbs and the secluded, wooded estate of his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). Chris is worried that his race will make things awkward, little does he know he’s exactly what this family has been looking for.
And the reveal is the whole point of any good horror flick, so that’s all I’ll say about that.
I am not generally one to shout at the screen when watching a movie, but after watching “Get Out” I understand the impulse and the title is very apt. The most aware character in the movie (and definitely the audiences’ representation on-screen), Chris’ friend Rod (LilRel Howery) literally tells Chris to not go in the house, and he is so very right.
As I said at the start, horror is not a genre I gravitate towards, and it would seem that the older members of the Academy feel similarly (and that is the end of any comparison I will make between myself and these Oscar voters). The “more mature” members reportedly dismissed the film as “not an Oscar film,” without having seen it.
I would not deprive them their opinion, but you’re not allowed to have an opinion about a movie you haven’t seen, because it is literally impossible to have an educated one.
However, I have to give props to the new members for getting “Get Out” and “Lady Bird” and I suspect “Call Me By Your Name” into the running this year. Listening to one another’s stories matters and I hope the other members of the Academy follow your lead.