Movie Get Out Discussed and Explained
The other day my family was out of town. All of them. My wife, my daughters, and my son? All at once? All weekend? Holy cow. Talk about best case scenario… I mean, awful. Terrible. I was lonely. And pined for them all weekend. Hey sweetheart… I didn’t expect to see you reading my blog! hahaha. Nah, it was a great weekend. Friday night I went and saw A Cure For Wellness. Saturday? Wasn’t sure what to do. But Peele, from Key and Peele had a new movie out and I thought. Heck, seems like it’ll be funny. I’m gonna go. It obviously won’t be blog material. But it’ll be fun all the same.
Oh how wrong was I? Let me count the ways.
So apparently, if you have seen the movie, The One I Love, you have a better feel for where this movie is going. Which is, into a science-fiction, alternate reality, headtrip of a movie, that allows Peele to comment freely on the state of the union of race relations while also giving the audience – of all races and backgrounds – a really fantasticly good time. If you haven’t had a chance to see this movie yet, this page will be radioactive to you – and you really should leave now. Seriously… because I’m going to do a walk through on the entirety of the movie and then tear it down as we discuss what Peele is saying and what the twists and turns mean. Right? So here, here is the trailer – watch this – then go find the movie. It’s currently playing in the theater and doing extraordinarily well even though it’s only been out a week.
See? Fantastic looking film isn’t it!? And right now it’s run 98% fresh? 99%? Like guaranteed good time. So go buy a ticket, rent it on redbox when it comes out, stream it on Amazon, whatever. Just watch it. Then come back.
Get Out Movie Overview
The movie kicks off with the song … “Run Rabbit Run” and that is all the foreshadowing we need. Done. And if you don’t know the song, you can listen to it here. But basically the movie starts by following a lost African American walking through a fairly atypical suburban neighborhood. (Why he’s walking, I’ll never know…) And he ends up getting dumped in the trunk of a crazy person’s.
And after that chilling opening, we get the setup of the movie early when Chris, our African American hero and protagonist, is discussing with Rose, his fiancé, about their going to her parent’s house to introduce Chris to them. “Do they know that I’m black?” And then Rose makes fun of him, “Sure, I called them up and said, ‘Mom, Dad? I’d like to bring my black boyfriend over and introduce you to him.'”
As Chris and Rose head towards her parent’s house, they are pulled over by a cop. The cop wants Chris’ drivers license too, even though he wasn’t driving and Rose flips out. And it was at that point, within the first 10 minutes, that I knew that this movie wasn’t what I thought it was. I knew that this movie was going somewhere else entirely than the normal Key and Peele routine. Chris is introduced to Rose’s parents and we learn quickly that her mother, Missy, is a therapist, and a hypnotist to boot. (Cooking grenade anyone?) Not only is she a therapist, but she also has a “special” method that can be really effective at breaking addictions and terrible habits.
>We meet the “help”, Georgina the maid, standing in the kitchen… who apparently isn’t quite what she’d seem. And a little while later, Chris meets Walter, the grounds keeper, as he is doing his daily run. There is something crazy going on here because the staff are all black, and they are just weird. Like incredibly weird. Something is totally rotten in Denmark, but what?
When Rose’s brother comes for dinner things go for even a weirder turn. He’s just unbelievably strange. He thinks Chris should be a wrestler? And wants to put him in a headlock? So weird. But things really take a turn when Chris can’t sleep and decides to go out for a smoke and ends up having an encounter with Missy, Rose’s mother. This particular encounter is the hinge point upon which the rest of the movie is moored. So I’ll give you the notes I wrote directly in the movie theater:
Everything is focusing on the teacup and the spoon.
Chris didn’t want to talk at first, but she swirls the tea…
And she gets him to talk
Chris “The TV was on – and it was raining. She was coming home from work.”
Missy “What did you do?”
Chris “Nothing. I just sat there.
Missy “You didn’t call anyone?”
Chris “I just thought if i did I’d make it real.
Missy “How do you feel now?”
Chris “I can’t move”
Missy “Now sink into the floor.”
… (Chris screams and sinks in through his seat.)
Chris “Now you are in the sunken place.”
And just like that we watch as her hypnotism manipulates Chris’ mind. But then he snaps awake in his bed the next morning and he begins to think it was just a dream. But we know that, not only was it not a dream, but there were probably things that she did that he wasn’t aware of. His smoking habit being the least concerning meddling she did in his head.
Forward to the yearly “party. Chris is starting to wig out a little bit and he tries to connect to Kenny, the black husband of one of the older wives at the party. But something is nagging at Chris, he’s sure that he knows Kenny from somewhere. Anyway, Chris takes a photo of Kenny because he wants to send it to his best friend from childhood, Rod to see if his face rings a bell. But when he takes the photo the flash goes off and blood starts running down his noes and he yells, “GET OUT!! RUN!!”
Jump forward past the weird bingo alternative game that they play (we have GOT to talk about that “bingo game” after the overview. HAVE TO. Holy cow. Just so many terrible flashbacks to slave auctions happening in that thing right there. Wow.) And let’s also skip over all the excuses that these people made for Kenny. Chris, surprisingly, has decided that he wants to go. Huh, wonder why? Yeah, it’s been a fun party and everything, but really? He’s just ready to leave. Big news though was that when Chris called Rod, he had remembered Kenny, knew that he had disappeared and that he was on the missing list. So Rod heads in to the FBI to figure out what is going on. (Which, I have to admit, was one of the funniest (most Key and Peele-esque sections of the film. Hilarious even. “We TSA agents have the same training as you FBI agents, so…”
And as Chris and Rose are getting ready to go, Chris finds a small storage closet with the door open. And Chris finds a pile of photos. It actually was nice, in such a fast forward film, that Chris was allowed a little bit of time to just hang out and do some family photo album gazing. Right? So nice. Um, no. These are a pile of photos of Rose with piles of other African American individuals… and she seems to be romantically inclined with all of them. Every single one. (Which brings up the question of aging… but let’s not discussed that too deeply here.) And that is when the audience (if not Chris quite yet) realizes that Rose is bait. She is bait to lure Black people into a relationship and then back to meet the parents. To what end and why?!? Oh don’t you worry, we’ll discuss that after the overview. Promise.
“What is your purpose Chris? We are born we breathe and we die. Even the sun will die but we are immortal.”
Chris is dying to get his hands on the keys to the car, but eventually Rose says, “You know I can’t give you the keys babe?” And that is when Missy taps her teacup three times and out like a light goes Chris. “Don’t damage him! Mind his head!” And then Rose says to poor Chris who has gone through the floor again… “You were one of my favorites.”
That is when Chris snaps awake, belted to an armchair, and immobile. What is going on now? A TV in front of him informs him that the Coagula procedure was only just perfected. Seems as though its a method for gaining immortality of some kind.
Phase 1 – Hypnotism and mental preperation
Phase 2 – Psyche is prepped
Phase 3 – Transmutation is performed
Chris learns that once the procedure is completed he will be able to hear and see, but that the rest of his existence will be that of a passenger constantly captured and trapped inside the sunken place. And that is when Jim Hudson, the blind art dealer, informs him that the reason he did this was because he wanted Chris’ eye. His eye for art, his eye for photography. “I’ll control your motor functions. You’ll be me. I want your eye…
But when Chris realizes they are about to hypnotize him again, knock him out, he put cotton in his ears and acted like he’d been knocked out. So that when Jeremy, Rose’s brother heads in to collect him and prepare him for surgery, Chris was able beat Jeremy senseless with a Bocce ball, and supposedly kill him. But you know how horror movies go. He’s gotta get up and make a run at Chris one more time eventually!
And now it’s the Chris Washington show. After killing Jeremy, Chris heads over to the operating room and kills Dean Armitage (the father) with the antlers of the deer. He then breaks Missy’s teacup and kills her. (In that order.) Jeremy comes back again, and he kills him all over again. And then in a frenetic, and chaotic run at the ending, Chris runs over the Georgina the maid. But because of how he left his mother to die without doing anything, he decides to go back for her. Which, was a bad idea. Because that right there is Grandma and she’s out for some revenge. “YOU RUINED MY HOME!!!”
Rose, with her 22 and Grandpa descend on Chris and it looks as if Chris is pretty much toast now. But Chris remembers what the flash on his camera did to Kenny, and he fires off the flash, and then Grandpa kills Grandma, and then commits suicide. Chris gets up and start strangling Rose. And then that is when the cops arrive.
Which is when this movie gets crazy crazy complicated. Because obviously the black man strangling the white woman has all kinds of societal implications to it. He won’t get a fair hearing and will be attacked and pilloried for the massive murder scene. He won’t be believed for the chaos of what was actually happening. He’ll be electrocuted in the span of 3 months. But, thankfully, it wasn’t the cops. It was Rod arriving to the scene. Rod and Chris hop in the car and go. Roll credits.
What Are The Armitage’s Doing?!?
So now that we are through to the end, we know that the beginning setup was all fake. Not only did Rose’s parents know Chris was black, he was hunted for his blackness. Rose was bait. And they were searching him out intentionally. Right? Not only that, Rose’s comment about it being her parent’s yearly party, and woah, what a coincidence, was anything but. The party was a cover story for the auctioning of Chris’ body to the highest bidder. Right?
At its heart, the movie is actually quite simple in that it solely about a body-snatching ring. And yet, Peele’s inclusion of the fact that only African Americans are the ones being stolen makes it immediately more complex by a factor. We now are discussing race relations in America. We are discussing slavery, equality and more importantly, inequality. Etc. And Peele’s intentional inclusion of slave-like auctions and many of the trappings of the horrifying history of the treatment of Africans and African Americans over the last 400 years or more.
The Anatomy of a Body Snatching
The process of a body snatching roughly followed this process as far as I can tell:
- The Armitage family begins hunting for a victim
- Rose starts looking to date a man or a woman
- Armitage family members start hunting throughout suburbia (using the mask)
- Once a victim is found, he/she is brought home (via trunk or via invite)
- During that same time a “party” is held
- Invitees are usually rich people with a spouse that is near death maybe
- Prospective buyers bid on victim’s body
- Once the sale is confirmed the prep begins
- The victim is prepped for procedure
- Phase 1 – Hypnotism and mental preperation
- Phase 2 – Psyche is prepped
- Phase 3 – Transmutation is performed via Coagula process
- The body purchaser now has his/her consciousness embedded in victim’s body
Does that help clarify what was happening to Chris from the Armitage’s perspective? The problem is, we only have this nefarious objective revealed to us slowly over time. So Kenny, was actually the spouse of that older woman, in the body of Andre Hayworth which had gone missing several years previously. And before Grandma and Grandpa Armitage died, they too had the procedure done, and as their cover story they worked as the maid and the groundskeeper.
Things You Missed The First Time Through the Movie Get Out
What’s the Deal With Walter’s Running?
What was the deal with Walter’s running in the middle of the night? Remember when Chris Washington goes out for a run? and Walter about runs him over? And later Walter says to him, sorry, was doing my work out. Right? What was the deal with that? Well, remember that Walter isn’t Walter, but rather he is Grandpa Armitage? And remember when they were standing in the hallway and Dean Armitage explains to Chris that Grandpa never got over losing to Jesse Owens… right? Grandpa is getting back in shape using Walter’s body in an attempt to beat Jesse Owens’ time on the track that beat him all those years ago. Brilliant eh? Hahahah.
Explain the Bingo Scene Please!
The “Bingo Game” was nothing more than an auction. Simple enough right? But what about the cards? And the hand motions? That is easy enough to understand as well. Basically, Dean Armitage is standing upfront and using silent hand signals to call out an amount. We don’t know what the hand single amounts are. We can guess that each finger is a million? Let’s just assume that for now. But what about the Bingo cards? There is nothing tricky about the Bingo cards that I have included an image above of. Notice that each card is different. One is the O row completely filled. One is a diagonal. One is a horizontal row along the bottom. Each one is a winning Bingo play, but unique from every other bidder at the party.
The Original Ending was Different
As I was researching some of the details of how the mechanics of this movie worked I found this quote from Peele that sort of blew my mind:
“In the beginning, when I was first making this movie the idea was, ‘Okay, we’re in this post-racial world, apparently.’ That was the whole idea,” he revealed. “People were saying, like, ‘We’ve got Obama so racism is over, let’s not talk about it.’ It’s a wrap. That’s what the movie was meant to address. These are all clues, if you don’t already know, that racism isn’t over. So the ending in that era was meant to say, ‘Look, you think race isn’t an issue?’ Well at the end, we all know this is how this movie would end right here. It was very clear that the ending needed to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the audience go crazy when Rod shows up.”
Rod’s arrival is a serious upbeat after all kinds of serious negative happening to this poor kid. And when the audience begins thinking about Chris, strangling the life out of his white girlfriend… who is now crying for help to the arriving cop? All manner of baggage gets dumped on this movie moment. Chris won’t be believed. Chris is going to prison. But when Peele chose to add Rod into this movie as both comedy relief and logistical support for extricating the poor guy from this sticky situation, it makes the movie a serious win.
Also, I have to say, that the reason for the Armitage’s choice of using African Americans as their abductees is thin. Super super thin. It doesn’t even make any sort of sense. One of the party goers says to Chris, “Fair skin has been in fashion the last few hundred years but now? Black is in fashion again.” Eh? This is why these old people want to be black? Because they are fashionable? We also hear it said a few times that it is because of their genetic superiority and athleticism that they are chosen? So a normally racist group of white people are all of a sudden African American fans? Meh. But, in Peele’s choice to not go here, he has abdicated a lot of the seriousness of his original political discussion. Which, is wise, in that he is ultimately creating an entertaining movie, not a political palimpsest.
And yet, he is still communicating, humorously, that our racist backgrounds are not ok. That they still exist and are taking on new forms of racism. Which is fair. I don’t disagree at all. Obviously racism is still alive and well. Obviously we have not figured out this problem in our country. But I’m glad Peele chose to take the lighter approach instead of that of the heavier tact.
Get Out Movie Final Thoughts
The movie making craft of Get Out wasn’t exactly great. And yet, I’m totally fine with that. I personally think that the comedic roots of Peele’s Youtube videos came across a bit heavy handed. Really? Chris would stay in the house after his very first interaction with the Maid/Grandmother? Really? And yet, even with this heavy handed approach it wins. His political and racial points were well made and better yet? They were made while still being very palitable while inside an entertaining movie going experience.