Not the Way the World Works (but that’s okay): I always have a problem with movies where the hero says, “This guy has framed me for murder, so I’ll just kill him and everything will be okay,” but the most ridiculous example had to be Collateral, because of the racial element. If a black cabbie kills a white man in a nice suit, even if there’s a black woman there to vouch for him, then forget it, he’s getting the chair. This movie doesn’t have the frame element but could be accused of the same “get away with killing white people” problem, and indeed the original ending was Chris getting hauled away, but I think they get away with a happy ending here by simply letting us have that moment of horror when Chris sees the police lights and raises his hands and we suddenly realize how all this will look…but then the relief washes over us when it’s his friend. We know it’s bogus, but at least the movie let us glimpse what would really happen before giving us the less-realistic-but-more-satisfying stand-up-and-cheer ending.
Mystery Plotting: I could rehash them here, but I’ll just point you to this list of Easter eggs showing the movie’s meticulous plotting and imagery. One reason this movie made so much money is because people were watching it twice, and finding it even more satisfying the second time, which usually isn’t the case with “big twist” movies.
National Pain: How do you solve a problem like Trayvon Martin? How do you address that pain in a movie? You can make a movie like Fruitvale Station about the facts of the case, and that would certainly be worth making, or you can make a movie like this, about the growing horror black men feel that they’re not safe in white neighborhoods. Drama is how it is, genre is how it feels, and they’re both equally valid.
I did like Get Out, but to my dismay not as much as everyone else seems to have. I didn't think the last third was unrealistic, just not the most interesting way to end the film. It felt too stereotypical of horror (although I admittedly don't watch a lot of horror) and departed from a lot of the psychological aspects of the first two acts. I have heard passionate arguments for the film, so I should probably give it another watch.
There's always a tension in horror, where you want to keep it psychological for as long as possible, but at some point you have to lay the cards on the table. I thought this movie did a good job twisting the knife as long as possible.
Peele said in an interview that he changed one scene that saved the movie. Originally Chris wanted to leave and Rose talked him into staying. That risked tipping the audience off about Rose's complicity. Instead, the scene became one of Rose demanding that they leave and Chris playing off the parents' oblivious racism as no big deal, just another day in America. That was a genius bit. Not only do we get the reversal of initial expectations -- she's upset by her parents but he's willing to ignore their prejudices? -- but we also get a touch of realism and an insight into his character. We see by his calmness that Chris has dealt with this sort of thing many times, showing that this form of racism is not uncommon. That's critical to the whole movie. We also see that Chris can downplay the frustrations for Rose's benefit. Making her later betrayal all the more painful.
And, of course, in retrospect we can see just how brilliant a manipulator Rose really was. Damn, that's clever entrapment...
I will reserve final judgement until I watch it again, but overall I found this movie disappointing. I don't think the genre was defined enough at the beginning. The opening scene to me just didn't fully say to me: Horror Genre. Compare it to 'It Follows' where there is no ambiguity.
The 1st & 2nd Act's Racial-Psychological-Drama plot is so well filmed, written and acted that it smothers the subtle horror hints scattered throughout. I wanted this to continue in the 3rd Act, so when we shifted to traditional horror genre ending, I found it very unsatisfying.
I thought the opening said "sorta horror", and the movie delivered on that, right up to the ending, which, as I say, gives us a glimpse of the horror ending, then says, "Nah, let's give it an action movie ending instead." I felt that was fine, because that opening had prepared me for the fact by not really feeling like horror.
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