Racial Appetites

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut. Peele, half of the comedy duo Key and Peele–guess which half–also wrote the movie.  Looks like Peele’s career as a filmmaker has only just begun. I read two reviews that awkwardly address the film’s racial theme:


Plot: Guess who’s coming to dinner? Before embarking on a weekend in the country at his white girlfriend’s family summer house, Chris learns that she has not told her parents that he is black. After they arrive, strange happenings occur in and around the house. The film is in the horror genre.


review by Thelma Adams

Spoilers skimmable? No. It is too hard to avoid the bazillion spoilers.

Bottom line: the movie is very good. Adams particularly loves that it is an allegory for a black man’s living in a white society–Chris is paranoid in his girlfriend’s house; sounds like for good reason.

Thriller with a lesson: “Without a moment that sacrifices humor or shocks or narrative speed, Peele uses the mainstream thriller form to get under the skin—and behind the eyes—of a black man navigating the dominant white culture.” Adams adds there should be  more movies with diverse filmmakers so that they too can represent what it’s like to be part of their own marginalized groups. (Note that it’s referred to as a horror not a thriller everywhere else.)

Adams adds that production companies should be incentivized to hire more black directors because “black-driven entertainment” brings in big box office bucks: “In its opening weekend, Get Out struck a chord and grossed $30.5 million.”

Is it me? This review seems disingenuous. First, calling entertainment “black driven” sounds weird to me. Like looking for a politically correct euphemism when you don’t need one. Call it black movies or black entertainment, but not “black-driven entertainment.”

GRR: I was tricked into reading what looks like a MAJOR spoiler, and I’m looking to criticize the review in retaliation.

The lovely couple
The lovely couple


review by Matt Goldberg

Spoilers skimmable? NO. I now know too much.

Bottom line: grade A-. Peele uses the horror genre to great effect: “He utilizes the sharp subtext that the horror genre provides to create a cutting commentary on racial dynamics.”

You lost me: Goldberg says that the film “functions like a punch in the mouth to every Obama voter that went to Trump.” I assume he is referring to every white Obama-Trump voter? He’s talking about people who claim to be unprejudiced who actually are racist. I’d venture a guess to say that there are many Obama- and Hillary-voters who are also racist but claim not to be.

Peele directs