Why it might be hard to identify with Chris:
- He’s passive. This trip isn’t his idea. He lets his girl dismiss his fears and throw away his cigarette.
- Right away, with an opening scene recalling the murder of Trayvon Martin, we know we’re in for some Real Like National Pain. This is going to gutpunch us.
- Chris doesn’t have a lot of personality, but his photographs give us a world into his soul, making him feel real. The fact that his dog has IBS feels real, as do the details of Rod working at the TSA.
- When we first see him, he nicks himself shaving, foreshadowing bloodletting to come. Then, having the seen the introductory scene (and the title), we’re already screaming “Get Out” to Chris as his girlfriend dismisses his concerns about being chased away with a shotgun. We’ve all been gaslit by our significant others, from time to time.
- We don’t invest in Chris very much, because he’s a pretty weak guy, but it keeps coming up that his most valuable quality is his eyes, and we like good eyes. And we like that he’s wary, even though he chooses to ignore his own wariness. We admire that he checks on the deer to see if it’s suffering.
- Eat: Rose brings pastries, but we don’t get to see them eat them. We do see them eat soon after arriving upstate.
- Exercise: No
- Economic Activity: Not much with Chris and Rose. We do see Rod at work.
- Enjoy: He semi-enjoys hanging out with his girlfriend, but he’s already in the sunken place, half-present and half watching himself and Rose from afar with a wary eye. We like her when she says of her dad and Obama, “He’s definitely going to want to talk to you about that and it will definitely fucking suck,” but he can only half-smile. She only fully wins him over when she stands up to the cop: “That was hot.” “I’m not going to let anyone fuck with my man.”
- Emulate: Well, Chris is busily code-switching when he’s talking to Rod and Rose at the same time, one on the phone and one in person. He “acts black” with one and “acts white” with the other, but the real him is too sunken to be fully either.
High five a black guy
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