Because I am Obsessed with “Get Out”
This post is long overdue because I first saw Jordan Peele’s new film Get Out over a month ago. Yes, I said “first” because I did something I usually don’t: I went to the theater again to see a movie. TWICE in one month. That is how obsessed I am with this. It is about a Black dude named Chris, who goes to meet the parents of his white girlfriend (Rose) at their suburban home. What was supposed to be a simple “Meet the Parents” turns much darker as the weekend goes on. The only Black people around are corny and creepy AF, and the parents seem overly friendly. Their friends aren’t much better. Chris is in for the time he never expected.
By now, you might have seen it. If so, you’ve probably perused the whole internet and read 50-eleven thinkpieces on it. I’m not promising you that mine will be any different. But I had to throw my hat in the ring because we gotta discuss it. The 2nd time I went to see it, I took a notepad with me, and ended up taking 12 pages of notes, so I’m writing this from those 12 pages.
Let’s start by saying how much I LOVEDDD everything about the movie. Everything about it. And I do NOT do horror movies. If you wanna ensure I have an awful time, force me to see a horror film. The way my punkassness is set up, I do not do scary films. But Get Out is not a horror, in the Poltergeist or Children of the Corn way. It is a horror in that what it depicts is the horrific nature of white supremacy in America. I’ve had to talk a bunch of people off the “I can’t see it because I don’t like horror movie” ledges by letting them know that I too am a scaredy cat, and this is not that.
This film made me look at Jordan Peele completely different. This ain’t just Peele from Key & Peele. This is a genius who wrote, directed and produced one of the best films of the last 10 years. This is the moneymaker who spent $5 million to create a piece of art that has now made over $150 million. This is a Black man who shows that Black people can create film that will be consumed by the masses. Peele has reached next levels, and it’s because he created gold.
I’m obsessed with Get Out, because there was no line of dialogue wasted, no musical lyric coincidental, and every single thing is intentional. That doggone movie is deeper than the Pacific. Deeper than rap. Deeper than the well of Cheeto Satan’s ignorance.
Now, let’s talk about the things I peeped in there.
If you are reading past this point, I ASSUME that you’ve seen the movie. SPOILER ALERTS ALL OVER. Leave now if you haven’t or don’t care to have everything revealed to you.
In the beginning of the movie, when Andre was walking in the dark and trying to get directions, he referred to whoever he was talking to as “Baby.” I assume it was a woman. Right then, a white car starts following him. Come to find out, that was Rose’s brother, Jeremy who snatched him. Which means, he was probably talking to Rose on that phone. To support this theory, later on we find out that Andre has been missing for 6 months. And Rose and Chris have been dating for 5. THE MATHS SUPPORT IT that Rose was the conduit there.
Rose wasn’t shit from the get go and we shoulda realized it. Especially when she was insisting that her parents aren’t racist, after withholding the info that her boyfriend was Black. GIRL if they weren’t racist, you wouldn’t bury that lede.
This scene also gave me Trayvon Martin vibes. An innocent Black man walking in a neighborhood that he isn’t thought to fit in, when a white man accosts him for no reason.
The clean side
So when Rose and Chris are on the way to her parent’s house, and her lack of concentration makes them hit the deer, they get out the car and the ONLY side of the car that shows any signs of the hit was Chris’s side. His side was covered in deer blood and hers was clean AF. There was almost a line of demarcation between how his side was grimy and hers was untouched. I thought it spoke to the fact that even when white people are at fault, they get away scot free and we bear the brunt.
The deer was present throughout the film, starting with Rose hitting the one that was crossing the road, sending it to its death. Deer are also known as “bucks.” A buck is a term used to sometimes represent Black men, and that deer being killed by her, is foreshadowing the fact that he’s in danger. And he’s going to meet his end.
Meanwhile, he felt drawn to the deer in a visceral way, and had a hard time seeing it laying on the road, slowly dying.
This was a moment for him that took him back to the fact that his mother died similarly, alone on the side of the road. But make no mistakes, that deer was really representing Black men.
Anywho, we come full circle with the deer, when the taxidermy one in the basement is used to kill Dr. Armitage. Just when you think you’ve got us, we rise back up and shank you.
The ID fiasco
When the cop wanted to see Chris’ ID, and Rose barked him down off it, it wasn’t to protect her man, but to make sure there was no paper trail connecting her to the man she’s about to send to his end. But her tone could have easily escalated the situation with the police officer. This is how “well meaning” white people will sometimes get Black folks in trouble.
The Omega signs
When they arrive at the Armitage’s house and walk unto their porch, the surrounding shrubbery has Omega signs on it. Omega is “the end.” I notice that in old family pictures or in the video of Grandpa Armitage talking about the Coagula Experiment that he’s creating, these omega signs were not in the shrubbery. I guess they were added once Black people walk in but never walk out the same again, as they’ve met their end in the Sunken Place.
Dr. Armitage’s words
As Rose’s daddy (Dean) gives Chris a tour of the house, he drops more than a couple of clues that he’s batshit crazy, and that he is there to steal his soul.
“Such privilege to experience someone else’s culture.”
“My mother loved the kitchen, so we keep a piece of her in here.” *camera pans to Georgina standing by the kitchen island*
“We hired Walter and Georgina to care for our parents. When they died, I couldn’t bear to let them go.”
Remember that reference he made to the basement being locked because of “Black mold.” Who’da thunk he meant it literally? That basement is where they go to mold the minds of white folks into Black people’s bodies.
And of course, his whole rant on how he hates deer. “I see a dead deer on the side of the road and say ‘That’s a start.'” He’s talking about his hate for Black people. That summabitch.
But most of all, is how he told Chris about his father, who almost made the US Olympics team, but lost to Jesse Owens. He mentions how he “almost got over it.” Sore losing ass white people. The whole Sunken Place thing began because of bad sportsmanship. And the sense of entitlement that comes with white supremacy. Hot ass mess.
Dinner table weirdness
Jeremy, Rose’s brother is a creep. At the dinner table, when he’s asking Chris if he’s an MMA fan, I think it was because he was wondering if his body would be good to take over for that purpose. He even said “With your frame and genetic makeup, you’d be a fucking beast.”
Appeasing white guilt
After the shenanigans of day 1, Rose apologizes to Chris for not seeing her family’s prejudices before, and for not taking him serious when he side-eyed her for not telling them that he’s Black. She owed him every piece of that apology, and instead of accepting it, Chris tells her the apology isn’t necessary. And he tells her not to worry about it. This is how Black people still go out of our way sometimes to make white people feel better about wronging us. We’re so quick to forgive, and we’re too busy trying to appease their guilt that we don’t give ourselves enough time to process the trauma they put us through. There’s also that bit of Black man-white girl worship. They can do no wrong. I’ma leave that right there too. Pick it up if you want.
Walter’s run and Georgina’s primping
First of all, Chris shouldn’t have woken his ass up and wander off in that house in the middle of the night. That dude specializes in hustling backwards, clearly. When he goes to the backyard, and Walter races past him weird AF, we know what that is owed to now. Grandpa is making use of the speed and agility he didn’t have before. Like leaving a kid who has been kept away from candy in FAO Schweetz. He’ll OD on it.
Chris looks up and into the window and sees Georgina there staring absentmindedly. Some think she was fixing her wig of the scars from the surgery. But no, there’s a shot where she’s just caressing her face and wig. That was Grandma marveling at her fresh melanin and hair. She was checking herself out, contentedly, digging the new skin she was in.
The Sunken Place
There’s so much to say about the Sunken Place. The fact that a silver spoon is a trigger is a clear indication of white privilege being at the core of this all. In this scene, Chris had on a gray hoodie. Again, gave me Trayvon Martin vibes.
Missy Armitage starts asking Chris about television. He was stuck watching TV the night that his mother died, and he did nothing. I think it speaks to the idea that TV can paralyze our thought processes and the actions we take. The media has been a tool of propaganda and subjugation of Black people, and in this case, it was what kept Chris from going out to look for his mother.
Now, Chris ended up in the Sunken Place after being hypnotized into paralysis.
He falls into a dark, bottomless abyss where he hears what’s going on around him but cannot respond or act on it. He’s a shell of himself and he is trapped there, without ability to get out. We all agree that it is a giant symbol for what racism has done to Black people in the United States. The systemic oppression of Black folks has placed invisible chains on people where they cannot just dig their way out. We can’t dress, dance, talk our way out of it because it is bigger than all of us. And it is deep and all encompassing.
The next day, as the party is about to start, all the guests arrive in black cars. It looked like a funeral procession. Most of the cars were Lincolns, which is a twist. Cuz Abaraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation but there wasn’t about to be freedom for Chris.
The color red – At the weirdest party ever, everyone has on something red. A sweater, a tie, a shirt, a pocket square. Something. Why red? I think because it’s a color that is used to warn people. STOP, EXIT etc. Chris should have stopped and walked the hell out.
The sizing up
The party starts and the guests happen to be old ass rich ass white people. And then as Rose takes Chris around, they size him up and check him out like you do a piece of fruit you wanna bring home. One of them asked him if he can golf. A woman asks him if “Is it true? Is it really better?” in terms of his sex game. One dude tells him “Black is in fashion.” He was on the auction block and he didn’t even know it. All those people looked at him, envied him and wanted everything he had. Style, size, swag. The “well-meaning” compliments mirror the things Black filks have to deal with everyday. Many of us nodded through the scene, used to the microaggressions thrown at us daily by white people.
The Japanese Dude
Everybody at the party had on something red, except for one guest: Hiroki Tanaka. He was Japanese, and clearly migrated to the United States because he had a strong accent.
Why was he specifically Japanese? Probably because Americans fetishize Japanese culture (see: geishas). But he stood out in this way to also show that he still didn’t quite belong in this group, try as he may. And he specifically asked Chris “Do you find that being African American is more of an advantage or disadvantage in modern life?” That was him doing research on whether it was worth switching bodies with Chris. Is his Asianness still putting him in a better position than Chris’s Blackness? There’s an incredible piece by Ranier Maningding that delves deep into this. Read: Why ‘Get Out’, a Movie About Anti-Black Racism, Had an Asian Character.
Now, Logan. He blew the thing open. He was the real catalyst for Chris realizing he gotta get the hell out that place. Yes, the microaggressions were weird but shit happens. It was when he finally saw a Black person that wasn’t the help and even that Black person wasn’t shit that he was like “nah.” Logan was at the party as a partner of a white woman who was 30 years his senior. Chris was perplexed when he missed all cues of Blackness, including the ever so important dap. HOW YOU NOT GON KNOW HOW TO DAP SOMEBODY?
And then all types of noir swag was gone, so when Chris tried to take a secret picture of the corny Black dude at the party and his camera flash went off, Logan snapped out of the Sunken Place for an instant. His yells of “GET OUT” were warning words to Chris. That was Andre, tryna tell bruh to get his Dereon duffle and split. He literally “saw the light” and got woke, albeit temporarily, because Missy had to re-introduce him to the Sunken Place. Poor guy.
The unplugged phone
Twice, when Chris went back to his room, he found his phone unplugged. Who unplugged it? Georgina. Well, Grandma. Why? So he wouldn’t have access to the outside world, like his friend Rod.
Chris and Rose’s outfits
Chris had on a chambray shirt. The only person in a light color and the only person wearing blue at that party. Rose was in a red and gray striped long sleeve shirt. There are a couple of times where they’re sitting really close together, and their alphets look like the United States flag.
There’s a particular shot where it hit me, and it was when they were both sitting on the bench by the lake, as he tells her he is ready to get the hell out. The camera pans to their backs, as the sun sets, and they look like a flag in the wind.
The bingo auction
The silent auction that happens, headed by Dr. Armitage is a literal representation of slave auctions that would happen. All these rich white people bidding to get the Black man. And interestingly enough, Hiroko ended up bidding on Chris. Apparently, whatever part of Chris he wanted trumped his Asianness. He figured it was worth the body switch.
Jim Hudson (the blind guy)
The blind man (Jim Hudson) was interesting because when he met Chris, he commented about how ridiculous the other white people are. You thought he was cool, and then he said wished he had Chris’ eyes. His eye for art and photography. So when he wins the auction, we know he meant it literally. It spoke to cultural appropriation. They see what we have/do/create, and they want it. They will take it with or (often) without our permission and we are left choiceless in the matter.
As he talks to a strapped down Chris before he prepares for surgery, he also mentions that he doesn’t really care what color Chris is. He just wanted his talent. He is the embodiment of white people who claim to be “color blind.” Jim literally didn’t SEE color but he saw color. He just used it to make himself better about what he was participating in.
The small cupboard in Rose’s room kept being left open (first in the middle of that night where Chris got sunk) and then after the party when him and Rose decide to leave. Who did it? Georgina in her flashes of clarity. Not Grandma. No one else makes sense.
In that cupboard was a red box (another warning sign) with pictures of Rose and a bunch of her past partners. 7 pictures, with 7 different men in it. One of those men? Walter, the gardener. And the 8th picture was Rose with Georgina. PLOT TWIST. Our girl swings all ways, I guess. Anything to co-opt these Black lives and Columbus them. Chris still didn’t fully get it at this point, but I think his spidey senses were going clean off.
The shackles and cotton
Chris is bound to a chair in the basement with leather straps that look like shackles. He’s looking at the deer that’s mounted on the wall, victimized pointlessly by the owner of that house, and used as a trophy. Across from him is a television that plays a UNCF commercial that says “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Literally.
And the TV is used to send Chris to the sunken place, making him scratch the arm of the chair he’s sitting in until the cotton in it comes out. That same cotton ends up saving him from the Sunken Place because he plugs his ears with it. That way, when the spoon hit the teacup, he didn’t hear it. It’s about time one of us got saved by picking cotton.
The froot loops and milk
Rose was eating froot loops (colored) one by one, but she had a glass of milk next to it that she never poured into the cereal. She was keeping them separate. She even sipped the milk through a black straw.
Rose is the Matron Saint of Darth Beckys (props to VSB). She basically lures this man to his demise, because she is given the grace of innocence even in the face of evidence that shows how conniving she’s being.
Chris still apologized to her to make her feel better as her family treats him like THE ONLY BLACK they’ve ever met. He still worships at her feet, even as she gaslights him and reduces his concerns. He still trusts her (with the car keys) even after he sees pictures of her and past partners (2 of whom are now servants for her parents). Rose, in her doe-eyed ingloriousness still played the role of blissfully ignorant til she herself removes the veil and says she won’t give him the keys. And then after she fed her bae to the dogs, she looks pleased with herself as she Googles her next victim, who will be an NCAA prospect.
This movie basically told us not to trust white women, the Darth Beckys who wear and weaponize their whiteness, and never get to suffer consequences. We see the Dr. Armitages of the world coming, because we already know white men are dangerous. We already know they can’t be trusted. But it’s the white women, who have been history’s shit starters, who we need to look out for. They’re the Miss Annes who got slaves sold by falsely accusing them of looking at them inappropriately. They’re the Suffragettes who only fought for the rights of white women to vote. They’re the 53% who voted for Trump even as he denigrates people who look just like them. This movie puts them on blast, and Rose is their queen.
We must talk about Georgina. She was the only character in this film who seemed to fight the Sunken Place even without the trigger of a flash. She tried to stay woke from the depth of the darkness, and she gave a valiant fight. When the Armitages and Chris sit on their back deck, Georgina comes to pour them all iced tea but at one point, she zones out and spills tea around Chris’ glass. Many pieces have wrongly identified the catalyst for Georgina zoning out to Missy Armitage tapping the silver spoon to her glass. But nah. That didn’t happen. Georgina zoned out on her own, which is definitely something you only realize in hindsight. It was the first sign of the fact that she had some fight in her.
Her constant fight against Grandma, who had taken over her was interesting. For example, the part where she went into Chris’ room and started saying “no no no no no.”
I think that was Georgina trying to come through and Grandma pushing her back down into the Sunken Place.
The cupboards ending up open had to be Georgina. She was tryna clue in ol’ boy to what’s really happening. She was trying to save him. I think Georgina is the epitome of Black women who fight like hell, even when we are in the throes of despair. Black women have BEEN fighting and will continue to fight in ways people will never understand, and with super human strength.
It’s also interesting that Georgina is the only sister in the Get Out scheme. Rose has gotten 7 Black men, but only 1 Black woman. Could it be that we are more careful not to be lured by the sirens of white womanhood? Could it be that we’re a harder target for trickery because of our moral fortitude? Could it be that we just have more people who will tell us “YOU BETTER SIT YOUR ASS DOWN AND DON’T GO WITH THAT WHITE GIRL?” Possibly. Georgina became the most interesting character for me, after Rod.
Rod deserves his own breakdown here, as the most down ass brother ever. He is the reason I was able to walk out the movie with good feels. He was the Black savior. The ride or die. The only one who knew what was happening before it happened. The one who warned Chris. The one who looked for him. The one who came for him. Rod is the ultimate friend, and he is Black brotherhood at its best.
Rod was everyone in the audience, who was wondering why Chris thought it’d be a good idea to spend the weekend at his white girlfriend’s parents’ house, ESPECIALLY after she told him they didn’t know he was Black. I woulda sent the address of where I’d be before I went anywhere and wrote a FB post so people would know my whereabouts. I’ont TRUSS it, and he didn’t either.
Again, Rod was the symbol of Black people who look out for you in spite of yourself. He was Chris’ village, and the only reason he didn’t end up dead or in jail (had real cops showed up). T-S-muthafucking-A to the rescue! Everybody needs a Rod. He’s bestie goals.
Contrary to Rod were the Black cops he went to, to report that Chris is missing. They laughed in his face, representing the skinfolks who aren’t woke. The ones who lambast those who report incidents of racism and injustice. He realized he had to save his friend without them, and embarked on that adventure. We’ll get free with or without the people in the Sunken Place.
WHEW. This post is hella long, but I didn’t know what to leave out in my 15 pages of notes. Oddly enough, I left some things out just so I could be done. But there are more layers in this film than there are locs on Lil Wayne’s head.
Several times as I typed “Chris” during this post, I typed a T at the end and had to backtrack. Then I was like “Wayment.” Was there Christ imagery in this? Was he meant to be the one who was crucified but rose up to show that he is greater than they assumed? Maybe now I’m just doing the most. BUT I’LL TAKE THE RISK. Whatevs. This film has me analyzing my own analysis. TEW MUCH. Lemme go to sleep now.
P.S. This movie has spurred some great art. My fave so far? This one by Jamar Logan:
Have you bought my debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual. Haven’t ordered it yet? Now’s your chance. You’ll love it. Amazon. Barnes & Nobles. iBooks. Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself). Kobo. Books-A-Million.