With debates about race and gender at the forefront of society, a stand-up comedian directed a horror film depicting the fears of the modern-day black man.
The recently released film “Get Out,” directed by Jordan Peele, combines the common stereotypes about black and white males into one exhilarating comedy-horror film.
This film, which has brought in over $133 million in over three weeks, has become a catalyst for racial discussions on social media.
“The film highlights racial issues in this country. Whites are portrayed as evil and not to be trusted,” said Weber State University professor Andres Orozco. “The savior of the film is a Black TSA agent, who ironically is part of a government institution.”
On the surface, the film puts historic racial roles up front in the film, with the rich white family having a black maid and a black gardener.
“It portrays whites as wanting to be in power like the slavery days, and it portrays blacks as being brainwashed into acting a certain way to be able to live,” Weber State student Anthony Hoskins said.
In the movie, Peele discusses the difference in how police interact with people of color as opposed to white people.
Early on in the film, a white cop pulls over the biracial couple on the road and asks for the black man’s identification even though he was in the passenger seat and had nothing to do with the situation.
“The film is funny at times, but the tension on issues such as excessive force by police, slavery and racial profiling was too real for anyone in the audience to only see this film as a comedy,” said Orozco.
While the film has parts that are meant to showcase the seriousness in these real-life situations, it also delves into classic horror and comedy tropes.
The highlight for the comedy aspect is Lil Rel Howery, who played the TSA Agent sidekick for the film’s hero.
“For me, and for many people out there — as all black people know — there’s racism. I experience it on an everyday basis. This movie was meant to reveal that there’s this monster of racism lurking underneath some of these seemingly innocent conversations and situations,” Peele said in an interview with the LA Times.
In his first film as a director, Peele hit a critical home run that brought in far more than the $4.5 million budget. Peele has expressed in the weeks since the release that he hopes to direct more horror films based on societal issues.