Jordan Peele’s racism fuelled thriller come dark comedy, Get Out, is arguably one of the most anticipated films of the year. It gained – if only briefly – the coveted 100% rotten tomatoes ratings and only cost around $4.5 million dollars to make. Notably, Peele is the first African-American director to debut a film that earned a speculated $100 million dollars; and it’s his directorial debut.

Whilst the premise of the film appears to be simple and the narrative is overtly about racism, rather than a subtext that is alluded to, which we have seen in countless horror films throughout the years, there are still so many awesome subtleties in Get Out.

Here at Movie Ramblings we thought we’d take you through our favourite Easter Eggs and possible theories, in what is arguably one of our favourite films of 2017. Here are a few things you might not have noticed the first time around…

  • The film’s opening song, Redbone by Childish Gambino was picked with intent. Jordan Peele has commented that he likes the haunting and ‘throwback’ vibe of the song as it compliments those elements of the film. Plus, Peele loves the lyrics ‘stay woke’ – he commented in an interview with HipHopDX, “that’s [staying ‘woke’] is what the film is about. I wanted to make sure this movie satisfied the black horror movie audience’s need for the character’s to be smart”. The song has consequently become the biggest hit of Childish Gambino’s career to date – [and if you’re not into music Childish Gambino is the stage name of the multi-talented Donald Glover who reportedly loved the use of his song in the film]. Not only does the term ‘stay woke’ references staying socially and politically informed it could be construed to have a double meaning for the protagonist, Chris – by the end, in order to survive he must literally stay awake and avoid hypnotism.
  • When Rose [Alison Williams] is defiant with the police officer regarding Chris [Daniel Kaluuya] showing his ID – she is in fact covering her own tracks whilst insinuating the police officer is being racist. Rose has to make sure Chris’ eventual disappearance isn’t tied to her in any way.
  • When Chris steps out to smoke, he sees caretaker Walter running furiously around the yard. Early on, we learn that Rose’s grandfather was beaten by African-American runner Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics hosted by Nazi occupied Germany. Later on, the audience learns that Walter is the host for the grandfather’s brain. This sets up a theme that runs throughout the film regarding the perceived physicality of black men. This appears to be a commentary on the widespread stereotype that black men and women excel in sports due to a genetic physical advantage. The loss in the Olympics may have been the catalyst for grandfather Armitage to start his ‘family business’ of lobotomising black people.
  • At the party many of the guests are wearing red or accent their black outfits with red. Chris is the only character wearing blue. This could be commentary on political affiliations in America and the perceived idea of ‘blue’ states being liberal in comparison to the ‘red’ states dominated by Conservative voters.
  • Astute horror fans will pick up on Peele’s nods towards Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and John Boorman’s Deliverance in Get Out – cue the creepy ‘run rabbit’ ritual used to capture black people and the brother playing a ukulele on the steps of the house. However, the sneakiest horror references are made to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Listen closely and you’ll hear ‘Room 237’ mentioned as well as the mentally enslaved Andre/Logan saying he feels like he’s in a ‘hedge maze’.
  • In the beginning, Chris voices his concerns about meeting Rose’s parents asking if they know that he is black. He jests that they may chase him ‘off the lawn with a shotgun’. Rose laughs this off, but in the end, she is the one who chases him, shotgun in hand.
  • Chris ultimately escapes the hypnotic power of the family by putting cotton wool in his ears which enable him to stay awake and escape ‘the sunken place’. This is a particularly powerful piece of socio-political commentary. Cotton played a pivotal role in the enslavement of black people. Chris is shackled by his hands and feet – which is another chilling nod to slavery. With a heavy dose of irony cotton is Chris’ source of freedom from entrapment and ultimately owning his own body again.
  • When Chris realises that all is not as it seems he attempts to use his phone to capture photographic evidence. In recent years mobile phone footage has been vital in shedding light in police brutality cases highlighting institutionalised racism that has previously been shrugged off as paranoia. During the final scenes, despite being the one in danger, Chris sees the police lights and immediately puts his hands up assuming he will be the one blamed for the series of events. The flash of the phone camera momentarily wakes the mentally enslaved black characters from their hypnotised state which is dubbed ‘the sunken place’. The sunken place is a metaphor for the black community feeling paralysed and unable to speak out even when they can see racism in front of their eyes.
  • Continuing with the theme of the commentary surrounding black physicality, Chris’ strength and appearance are continually scrutinised. This is often under the guise of complimenting him despite his clear discomfort. One woman actually grabs Chris’ arm and asks Rose ‘is it true…is it better?’ This highlights the fetishisation of interracial couples in society. It is perceived as ‘exotic’, something ‘other’. Racial fetishisation often supports the idea that a different sexual experience can be had if a white person has sex with a different race or ethnicity to their own. These understated moments showcase the most realistic microcosms of racism which juxtaposes nicely with some of the overt imagery of the film.
  • Arguably my favourite scene of Get Out is Rose sat on her bed eating cereal looking for her next victim to seduce online whilst listening to Dirty Dancing hit, ‘I’ve had the time of my life’. She appears calm and calculating yet utterly unhinged. Some viewers have suggested her coloured cereal that is separated from her milk is yet more racial commentary regarding colour separation; with many more suggesting that milk is a symbol adopted by white supremacy groups. Her ritualistic and precise behaviour is a common trope we see in psychopathic characters and gives her a chilling yet child-like facade. This scene could also be interpreted as showing how disposable people are nowadays thanks to online dating – she simply logs on to find her replacement black ‘boyfriend’.

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing – although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.