Don’t be scared. It’s OK to love Get Out and not (completely) get it. After all, writer-director Jordan Peele’s runaway hit movie — about Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African American man dating a white woman, Rose (Allison Williams), and experiencing the weekend from hell at her parents’ faraway abode — is that rare wildly original horror film and topical social commentary in which none of the characters are who they appear to be. Multiple viewings are required just to catch all of Peele’s sly winks, let alone solve the mystery. In the meantime, Us Weekly film critic Mara Reinstein breaks down the burning questions. Read ahead for some clarity and hellooooo, spoilers ahead!
So what is going on that prologue?
In the first scene, a young African American man, Logan (Lakeith Stanfield), is walking alone in a white suburban neighborhood, looking for an address on Edgewood Lane. He notices that a car is tailing him so he picks up the pace, muttering “not today.” Suddenly, he’s snatched up. This isn’t just a shrewd racial allegory, preying on black people’s fears about being cornered at the wrong time, wrong place. From a pure plot standpoint, Rose’s white brother (Caleb Landry Jones) is the one who kidnaps him — and off screen, he was brainwashed and “white-washed” by her family. That’s why he later appears at a party hosted by Rose’s parents, posing as the husband of an elderly woman.
And the two servants were who, exactly?
Short answer: Rose’s grandparents. The long answer: When Rose’s dad (Bradley Whitford) gives Chris a tour of the house, he notes that his own father lost a race — lost a race, pun intended — to the legendary Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He never really emotionally recovered, he notes wistfully. During the same tour, he notes his two African African servants and says that “we hired Georgina and Walter to help care for my parents. When they died, I couldn’t bear to let them go.” He’s actually referring to his parents. The real Georgina and Walter were lobotomized a long time ago.
That’s why old man Walter runs like the wind?
Right-o. He’s inherently a former track star still bitter by the notorious loss. Hence the speedy, angry midnight runs around the property. But he started out as just another of Rose’s dating conquests. Same for Georgina. She was a conquest too.
What’s the significance of the camera flash?
All the lobotomized people momentarily snap out of their “comas” when they see a camera flash. (It’s an open secret, which explains why Chris’ charging smartphone is constantly unplugged.) Chris, a photographer, discovers this loophole during the party when he takes a pic of Logan (who then screams at him, "get out!"). It’s possible this is a vampire reaction — i.e., someone literally and metaphorically sees the light and becomes unglued. More likely, it’s a glitch in the brain synapse. (Sorry, not as fun.)
Then why does Georgina “accidentally” spill iced tea while serving the family at the table? There wasn’t a flash!
Because Rose’s mom (Catherine Keener) accidentally clinks her spoon in the drink, a trigger that prompts instant hypnosis.
Is the bingo game at the party supposed to mean what I think it means?
It’s not a coincidence that the scene resembles a 19th century slave auction.
Does Chris get away with murder?
Yes. Though Peele certainly teases it out. After Chris dispatches Rose’s family in the grisly climactic sequence and a police car pulls up to the property, he puts his hands in the air like a guilty criminal caught in the act. It’s a scene we’ve seen far too many times in news footage. For a second, it seems like the man behind the wheel is the same suspicious white cop ready to investigate Chris for hitting a deer en route to the house. Instead, Peele pulls a fast one: Chris’ friend (LilRel Howery), a TSA agent, rescues him. The scene is surprisingly comical, as Chris gets the last laugh.
Are Rose’s parents racist?
The easy response is yes, of course they are. Why else would they seek out African Americans and ostensibly kill them? But it’s also possible the family is, subconsciously, just enamored with a different race and desperately takes the obsession to an extreme level. Peele, in that sense, may just be tapping into mass culture appropriation. (Think: Canadian Justin Bieber dressing in clothes too big for him, getting tattoos and trying his hand at hip-hop.) Discuss.
Who the heck is Daniel Kaluuya?
Extra kudos to Peele, who decided to cast a virtual unknown in the role. Kaluuya is a 26-year-old Brit — nice American accent! — who’s popped up in Sicario (he worked with Emily Blunt’s character) and UK faves Black Mirror and Doctor Who. His next big role: a tiny independent Marvel comic book movie called Black Panther.
Will there be a sequel?
Technically, there could be. The parents’ friends — who are all in on the scheme —are still alive and presumably kicking. Besides, as Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhies and Scream’s revolving Ghost Face can attest, just because a character is dead doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. But Peele has said he isn’t planning on a Part II. Instead, he’s working on three other social commentary comedies. Please hurry! Don’t know how much longer we can wait!!!