|Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out (2017).|
“The truth is, they don’t surround us. We surround them. This is our country."
– Glenn Beck, Fox News Channel, March 13, 2009.
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.