Get Out' as a 2017 Horror Masterpiece

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Meeting your significant other’s family is a strenuous situation for anyone. The suffocating tension through the air and the agonizing moments of silence describe what many people experience, although when racial indifference interferes, it changes every factor. In the 2017 horror movie, ‘Get Out’, the protagonist, Chris Washington, is concerned about meeting his girlfriend’s family because for one, he is black and his white girlfriend has not told her unsuspecting family about him yet. As he first meets them, the maladroit way her parent’s act causes you to sense the uneasy tension, which then sets the eerie mood throughout the movie.

We’ve all heard of or seen movies that reveal the issue of racism, but we have never seen it in the way that Jordan Peele has caused it to elicit fear and horror, and mimic the way many people experience the everyday horror. Although there has been a lot of criticism due to the farfetched storyline and underwhelming ending: the movie’s witty composition, dynamic soundtrack, and remarkable realism successfully portrays a profound message at the end.

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The ending was not what I expected or what anyone else expected, which did seem very underwhelming at first, but this is only because it was an ending many of us are not used to. Many horror movies end with the antagonist reappearing or coming back to indicate that there never was a favorable outcome, but Jordan Peele includes an ending that works with his envisionment of the film. Jordan Peele’s ending shows a world where the oppressed are successful and many times influential films do not display this. The recognized movie critic, Nicole Symmonds, states: “I also got emotional and teared up because of how far we had to come to survive the horror that centers whiteness and how far we have yet to go in the genre and in reality”. The conspicuous ending full of gratitude and relief is not only what we needed for our enjoyment, but we needed to understand how we should recognize the issue of racism in real life.

Although the film is recognized as a horror movie, the composition has many entertaining and witty moments. Jordan Peele uses the same comic sensibility from his show, ‘Key and Peele’, in the movie to make us feel connected to the characters on the screen. When a character says or does something we would have said, it connects us with them, and this sense of feeling with the character shows Peele’s artistic ability. The Sundance critic, Michael Arbeiter, explains: “While Peele’s comedic prowess is a delight and his gift for generating thrills is a winning surprise, nothing about ‘Get Out’ is more impressive than how cleverly he manages to weave a story around his active themes”. While the funny comments make everyone relax and feel relieved at times, it does not stray away from his active themes of the story.

The film’s dynamic soundtrack provides sounds for every scene which effectively builds the suspense and anticipation. Michael Abels was the composer for the soundtrack of ‘Get Out’, and even though it was his first film score, he used fresh new sounds that were never heard before, which only made listening to them all the more terrifying. Jordan Peele asked Abels to make a soundtrack under the genre ‘gospel horror’. Throughout each piece, you can hear people screaming and crying profusely whilst giving the characters warning signals. Michael Abels stated in the NPR interview: “There was a real need to convey the tortured emotions of those characters because they are us, and yet they're angry and mistreated, so the score is a balance, I think, emotionally, between sheer terror and a sort of despair and empathy with what they're going through”. The empathy we feel for each character is magnified with the music we hear, which makes watching this movie very emotional for anyone.

Many aspects in the horror movie may be fictional, but the remarkable realism portrayed can be easily interpreted for any viewer to understand the true message. As Manohla Dargis, The New York Times critic, writes: “Yet part of what makes ‘Get Out’ both exciting and genuinely unsettling is how real life keeps asserting itself, scene after scene”. The plot starts off with a daily situation that many people go through and Peele makes the characters experience the same realistic feelings of awkwardness, excitement, and anticipation we all feel. Although some horrific aspects of the story may seem hard to believe, Jordan Peele explains, “One person’s fiction is another’s true-life horror story”, explaining that although some details from the movie may seem unrealistic, it is ultimately the true horror that some people have to go through every day.

With every reason as to why this film is a 2017 horror masterpiece, Peele tackles the issue of racism in a very profound way and stands up for people of many different backgrounds. The movie becomes more than just entertainment for an audience, it urges us to change how people of color are treated. Jordan Peele explains his hope for creating the film by stating, “We can discuss race all day long, but if you see a movie that successfully puts yourself in the shoes of somebody different than yourself, you see the world differently, so I think the power of story is greater than the power of conversation in a way”. The film terrifies us into understanding how racism affects the people in America and has done it better than any other film.

While this film seems to be near to perfection, some aspects may seem extremely fictional and underwhelming, but these factors are what magnify the horror of racism and how it faces America today. The film is smart, witty, terrifying, funny, and extremely suspenseful to the point where it's nothing like I've ever seen before. No one should miss out on watching this film because not only does it keep you on the edge of your seat, but its profound message leaves a thought in the minds of everyone.

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Get Out’ as a 2017 Horror Masterpiece. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Get Out’ as a 2017 Horror Masterpiece.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023,
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