This essay originally appeared in Critics at Large and is reproduced on this site because the racial transgressions that occur in both the film under review and in American society are consistent with the Gothic's examination of the darker side in both the past and the present.
|Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out (2017).|
“The truth is, they don’t surround us. We surround them. This is our country."Jordan Peele’s gripping film, Get Out, which explores on a micro-level contemporary race relations through the prism of comedy horror, has received considerable attention from critics, including this site’s Justin Cummings and Kevin Courrier. Among other films, they have rightly pointed out its cultural markers from The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner to The Stepford Wives. In both versions of the latter, wives are reprogrammed into robotic doppelgangers while Get Out can be viewed as a sinister version of Dinner. But Sydney Poitier’s other 1967 film, In the Heat of the Night, also comes to mind. His role as the urbane cop who encounters southern redneck racists finds its mirror image fifty years later in Get Out, in the photographer Chris’ unease with the seemingly polite, cringe-inducing patronization of white liberals, a veneer that covers their malevolent and dangerous presence. I would add two fictional progenitors to Get Out: H. G. Wells’ early science fiction novella, The Island of Doctor Moreau, about a physician who experiments on animals to turn them into human-like hybrids, and Stephen King’s End of Watch that posits the idea that the consciousness of a comatose psychopath can be transferred to the minds of others who become the agents of his nefarious plans.
– Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel, March 13, 2009.