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Get Out(2017) – Unravelling the Social Commentary in Jordan Peele’s Horror Gem

In the realm of horror films, “Get Out” (2017) stands out as a thought-provoking and socially charged masterpiece. Directed by Jordan Peele, this genre-defying film seamlessly blends horror, satire, and social commentary to create a gripping narrative that goes beyond mere scares. Released to critical acclaim, “Get Out” has become a cultural touchstone, sparking discussions about race, privilege, and the insidious nature of systemic racism. In this blog post, we will delve into the layers of social commentary woven into the fabric of the film, exploring the nuanced ways in which Peele addresses these complex issues.

The Premise: A Unique Blend of Horror and Social Commentary

At first glance, “Get Out” appears to be a conventional horror film, complete with suspenseful moments and supernatural elements. However, Peele deftly uses the horror genre as a vehicle to explore the deeper, more insidious horrors of racism and exploitation. The film follows Chris Washington (played by Daniel Kaluuya), a Black man who uncovers disturbing secrets when he visits the affluent suburban home of his white girlfriend’s family.

The Sunken Place: Symbolism and Subjugation

One of the most iconic and chilling aspects of “Get Out” is the concept of the “Sunken Place.” This metaphorical space serves as a powerful allegory for the marginalization and silencing of Black voices in society. When Chris is hypnotized by his girlfriend’s mother, he finds himself in the Sunken Place—a nightmarish void where he is trapped and powerless. Peele ingeniously uses this visual metaphor to represent the historical and contemporary oppression faced by Black individuals, echoing the ways in which systemic racism can suppress and silence marginalized voices.

The Armitage Family’s Disturbing Practice: Cultural Appropriation

As the plot unfolds, it is revealed that the Armitage family has a disturbing secret—they transplant the brains of elderly white individuals into the bodies of young, healthy Black people. This revelation serves as a biting commentary on cultural appropriation, illustrating how the privileged class appropriates the bodies and experiences of marginalized individuals for their own benefit. Peele cleverly uses this science fiction element to mirror the real-world exploitation of Black culture, highlighting how certain aspects are commodified and stripped of their cultural context for the entertainment or advancement of others.

Microaggressions and “Liberal” Racism

Peele skillfully navigates the subtleties of racism, shedding light on the concept of “liberal” racism prevalent in ostensibly progressive circles. The Armitage family, outwardly welcoming and seemingly tolerant, embodies this insidious form of racism. Through microaggressions and seemingly harmless comments, the family members reveal their underlying biases. This portrayal challenges the notion that racism is confined to overt, hostile actions, emphasizing that even well-intentioned individuals can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and attitudes.

The “Casting Call” Scene: Satire and Social Commentary

In a memorable scene, Chris attends a party at the Armitage estate where wealthy white guests bid on his body as if it were a prized possession. This surreal “casting call” serves as a satirical critique of the commodification of Black bodies in both the entertainment industry and society at large. Peele cleverly exposes the fetishization and objectification of Black individuals, highlighting the dehumanizing effects of systemic racism. The scene is a powerful commentary on the exploitation of Black talent and the reduction of individuals to mere stereotypes.

The Symbolism of the Deer: Sacrifice and Victimhood

Throughout the film, the recurring motif of the deer serves as a poignant symbol of sacrifice and victimhood. Chris, who is repeatedly drawn to the image of a deer, eventually connects it to his own experiences as a Black man in a predominantly white society. The deer becomes a metaphor for the hunted, a reflection of the systemic racism that puts Black individuals in vulnerable positions. Peele’s use of symbolism adds depth to the narrative, inviting viewers to reflect on the broader implications of racial dynamics and the recurring patterns of victimization.

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Conclusion: A Cinematic Masterpiece with Lasting Impact

“Get Out” transcends the boundaries of traditional horror, delivering a powerful and socially relevant narrative that resonates long after the credits roll. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is a testament to the potential of genre films to address complex social issues with intelligence and creativity. By seamlessly weaving horror and social commentary, “Get Out” challenges audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about race, privilege, and systemic oppression. As a cinematic masterpiece, it not only entertains but also sparks essential conversations that are crucial for fostering a more inclusive and equitable society. With its lasting impact, “Get Out” stands as a landmark achievement in the horror genre and a beacon of change in the realm of filmmaking.

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