Get Out Explained: Symbols, Satire & Social Horror

Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”
is more than a horror movie The story of a black man’s visit
to his white girlfriend’s parents gone horribly wrong
is also a biting, absurdist satire that captures something in the zeitgeist For that reason “Get Out” is the spiritual descendant of two other more-than-horror classics 1968’s “Rosemary’s Baby” and especially 1975’s “Stepford Wives” both adapted from the writings of Ira Levin. I would describe this movie as a classic horror film in the vain of The Stepford Wives or Rosemary’s Baby But whereas those films used frightening analogies to dramatize women’s issues “Get Out” cleverly addresses today’s climate
concerning race This was a movie that reflects real fears of mine and real issues that I’ve dealt with before Let’s talk about some of the film’s key elements and how it draws from Stepford and Rosemary Watch out – there will be SPOILERS “Get Out” is loaded with symbols and imagery that remind us of the history
of slavery and the Old South Starting with the plantation-like Armitage Estate and some older-looking costumes The echoes visually remind us that our society’s past is ever interwoven into our present The first sign of something wrong occurs when the deer runs into the car The gentle deer is linked to our protagonist The accident is an omen of what’s to come The innocent creature’s sacrifice The omen is later fulfilled when after he’s tied up by Rosa’s family Chris sees the head of a deer
mounted to the wall the dead trophy that Rosa’s family would like to make of him as well come and sit with me please When Rose’s mother Missy hypnotizes Chris she uses a teacup as her weapon The dainty cup and stirrer are symbols of civility revealed to be hostile and aggressive Drinking tea strikes us as a refined, harmless activity but global conflicts and colonial dynamics have long been projected onto the trade and consumption of tea The Boston Tea Party helped launch
the American Revolutionary War The hypnosis gives Chris the feeling of falling The imagery suggests the family’s ulterior motive to push him down and suppress his will Sure, you won’t be gone I’m completely a sliver of you will still be in there somewhere limited consciousness You’ll live in a sunken place Within, the plot the sunken place is a visceral state of dimmed consciousness but it’s also evocative of pushing back
against forward progress Closing his eyes here symbolizes removing his consciousness and it makes us think of the historical withholding of education to disenfranchise black people I’m happy The family’s housekeeper Georgina is the image of a Stepford Wife vacant, inhuman and strained The Armitages are so good to us Then we meet the equally robotic Walter With these characters, Peele is explicitly
updating Stepford Wives Instead of robotic homemakers They’re robotic servants Instead of evoking dolls They evoke slaves Rose’s father Dean holds an auction with Chris’s photo which is disturbingly reminiscent of a slave auction The reveal that these white people are taking over black bodies stands in for white people using black people as slaves to use them for physical labor while retaining all power despite their own physical ailments after he’s briefed on how his body will be surgically taken over by the man who purchased him in the auction Chris looks at the cotton coming out of the chair It’s a visual reference to the Old South
primary slave labor – picking cotton Chris uses the cotton to plug his ears
and resist the hypnosis so the symbol of slavery is inverted to become his tool of escape Not unlike the deer antlers The movie also starts to introduce imagery concerning movie-going and audiences The surgery prep shows bright lights staring into camera like on a movie set You know what? Your eye, man I want those things you see through Hudson wants to take Chris’s eyes which symbolized through his taking pictures are a key part of his identity as an actively looking individual It’s significant, too,
that Hudson is an art dealer This is a person who sells his artistic tastes without really being able to see art He’ll now be making commercial profit off of appropriating Chris’s artistic insight The surgery will make Chris a backseat driver or passive audience Your existence will be as a passenger Peele is suggesting that consuming entertainment can be passive or hypnotic if we allow our minds to be controlled by whatever images we’re fed But the flash of the camera wakes us up like the hypnotized Logan whose real name is Andre and later Walter who’s long been taken over
by Rose’s grandfather Peele intends his movie to be like this flash not hypnotic entertainment that lulls us into submission but a jolt that wakes us up to reality While the plot eventually escalates into
a full-out race war “Get Out”‘s satire isn’t really targeted at overt or obvious racism in our society Many have interpreted the movie as a commentary on a certain kind of smug white liberal mindset Rose’s family appear at the start to be nice people who believe they’re forward-thinking By the way, I would have voted for Obama
for a third term if I could Best president in my lifetime hands down Yet they’re nervous tolerance is strained Their outlook can be oblivious and self-congratulatory and ultimately they’re uninterested in any deep understanding of inequality or any meaningful action All of us might have like little racist things in us and really that’s what the movie is kind of whether they’re conscious or unconscious and that’s what the movie really brings to light Early on we get a few dropped hints
of what’s to come in small, off comments it was up there with always perfect Aryan race bullshit black dude comes along proves him wrong from the entire world Dean mentions black mold down in the basement which will later take on a double meaning of a mold for black people Jeremy associated with his white signifier
the lacrosse stick brings his hate out into the open launching quickly into discussions of genetic makeup If you really push your body If you really train yeah and no pussyfooting around you’d be a fucking beast Later the racist obsession
with black people’s physical strength and equating them with animals
becomes even more explicit The movie also hints at the way that black culture can come in and out of trend and be co-opted
by white society When Chris asks “Why black people” People want to change some people want to be stronger, faster, cooler And through characters like the hypnotized Andre It’s also touching on the pressure on middle-to-upper-class black society to assimilate into white culture The literal plot of Rose’s family attempting
to sell Chris’s body symbolizes a more subtle reality A world in which white people are still happy
to benefit from their privilege And their liberal ideals are limited by their attachment to a status quo that makes them the dominant class Both Stepford and Rosemary can likewise be read figuratively as commentaries on how society traps women In real-life, suburban wives aren’t really
turned into robots and urban women aren’t impregnated by Satan But in Stepford the community pushes women to put their family’s needs first transforming them into perfectly servile homemakers And in Rosemary, a woman’s husband is also
willing to use her to get ahead in a hyper-competitive twisted society And Get Out beautifully updates Ira Levin’s tradition The movie follows from Black Lives Matter in the same way that Stepford Wives embodied the slogan Sisterhood is Powerful How long have you known that guy Like today, why? This is gonna sound weird but when you came at me it felt like a new one Get Out’s Chris Washington is in many ways an update to Stepford Wives’ protagonist
Joanna Eberhart Both are sympathetic, educated characters who are aware of the social issues at hand Doesn’t it ever bother you that the most important organization in Stepford is sexually archaic? Chris admits his discomfort about whether Rose’s parents will accept their interracial relationship Do they know I’m black? No. Should they? So our first impression is that both are savvy, informed, not seemingly naive Yet the absurdly sinister and corrupt situations
both eventually fall in to prove that neither’s liberal urban outlook is actually paranoid enough Both are city dwellers transplanted to the suburbs a place that makes them instinctually uncomfortable and they’re both photographers story-wise the camera symbolizes an original perspective, a free mind watching them look through the camera puts us in their point of view so we feel attacked ourselves Rosemary’s Baby’s protagonist does strike us as more naive and childlike but she follows the same journey too of discovering too late the horrifying betrayal around her Here like in Stepford or Rosemary the plot is masterminded by a white male
patriarch villain Coincidentally Get Out’s Roman Armitage even shares the first name of Rosemary’s Baby’s Roman Castevet A key difference though is that in those previous films the white women were victims Here they’re villains Fans of Rosemary and Stepord who spotted the similarities as they’re watching will likely anticipate one of the film’s major twist as we start to suspect that Rose is Chris’s betrayer She seems to have escaped her family’s issues The rose who stands out from the thorns But she simply understands very well how to convincingly play the progressive young liberal He wasn’t driving I didn’t ask who was driving I asked to see his ID Yeah, why? That doesn’t make any sense Here.
No, fuck that You don’t have to give him your ID if you haven’t done anything wrong Rose, like the husbands in the other two movies feels the most pernicious villainfor her cold duplicity This gets at how political dynamics really play out
on the intimate level In Stepford and Rosemary the betrayer crucially manages to stall the protagonists’ escape Rose does the same when Chris is first captured And at the end, even after he’s killed
the rest of her family She chases after him and continued to manipulate him In Stepford Wives Joanna believes she’s in a loving marriage with a man who respects her and it seems to us that she is but when her husband gets fed up with having to care for the children I played Monopoly with him I didn’t pass goal I didn’t collect I played backgammon I played Scrabble with the goddamn kids they’re in the kitchen now what do you want me to do And annoyed by Joanna’s interest in photography he decides he really wants an obedient housekeeper over an independent-minded wife The scary implication is that even well-intentioned individuals can’t resist the rewards of an unequal society that favors them Rose’s true allegiance is to her class And the privilege she’s happy to enjoy Even the eerie music reminds us of Stepford Drawing out our fear of society’s hidden monsters Horror is an inherently potent genre for dramatizing social issues of the day Scary movies can build our intangible fears into physical exaggerated monsters Comedy likewise can exercise our demons by talking about what’s taboo in society Horror and comedy are very similar In one you’re trying to get a laugh and the other you’re trying to get a scare Get Out doesn’t just draw from both genres but also effectively interweaves them Even its horror aspects have darkly comic absurdist inflections The far-fetched plot of a girl who attracts black men so her family can surgically turn them into robotic slaves takes a cue from Levin’s blend of sinister absurdity Stepford also used unbelievable methods of advanced surgery to heighten the satire The robotics and plastic surgery are flippantly unrealistic The over-the-top absurdity acts like a Trojan horse that sneaks in the incisive political critique In all three stories oppressing the other takes the form of invading and controlling their bodies In our society this control isn’t typically through kidnapping and surgery but via more subtle means Such as turning other bodies into objects of desire or contempt Much of Get Out’s explicit humor comes through Chris’s best friend Rod How can I get in trouble for patting down old lady? It’s standard procedure Terry just think of the elderly bitchin elderly she can’t hijack no motherfuckin plane He serves as the traditional comic relief but he’s also the movie’s heart as the only person who believes Chris Look what I’m about to tell you don’t sound crazy This scene in which the police laugh at his fears has a melancholy echo with the reality that black missing-person cases are statistically far more likely to go unsolved Even his funny references to the TSA build on a joking assumption that the police won’t care about helping Chris When Rose cries out for help The audience knows what’s about to come next if a white police officer steps out of a car Exactly what Rose is counting on Peele said he originally did intend that bleaker ending to remind people who voted for Obama that they weren’t living in a post-racial world But the director said that outrage over police shootings of black men convinced him that the movie needed to counter public anger and pain with an ending that “Gives us a hero Gives us an escape Gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie When Rod comes to Chris’s rescue He serves as a comic deus ex machina I mean I told you not to go in the house Here the comedy and hope saved the story from the defeats which concludes Stepford or Rosemary Chris’s escape isn’t exactly a happy-ever-after though There’s still a threat implied Underneath our progress there is under the surface that lingering prejudice and antagonism After Get Out we might learn to be a little less naive a little more cautiously paranoid and open our eyes to how potently our history still informs our present

100 Replies to “Get Out Explained: Symbols, Satire & Social Horror”

  1. This movie is now Iconic. Which is great news for horror fans because we definitely needed mainstream modern horror success to revitalize
    the genre with a new twist. Peele adds layers to modern horror movies and conditions us to look at more than stereotypes and spectacle.
    New age star horror villains are not hidden waiting for kills , their victims get attacked In broad daylight with open wounds of racism and politics.

  2. That part when he goes upstairs and everyone suddenly stops talking and looked up creeped me the fuck out. Amazing on Peele's part.

  3. Your break down was very weak I believe you are not a person who is what I'd refer to as woke your break down is by a person who doesnt have a clue about the elites and the escoteric symbols n language used and true meanings ie black goo is substance the elites constantly show us in films usually horror movies ie when people eyes go all black and the black substance is formed they show us this knowing that those of us who are not AWAKE won't have a clue what or why they keep showing us stuff we don't know about…the black goo is product produced when they do experiments at the CERN large hadron collider its unstable anti matter and is technology of the fallen angels CERN is ushering I'm the age of the anti Christ there maybe fake alien contact and people every where will believe lies and stuff there's much more but I can't be bothered to right but my point is your break down is not correct it is from point of view of a person that believes every thing they see n hear on the news your point of view is not of a person I would say is awake therefore all of your points are not correct and I was hoping you would go deep and share some findings as there are tons in this film but no offence you are coming from the point of view that is very upsetting to me because it just shows that a well spoking and well educated person can be full of shit and not know anything….it makes me worried for our youth especially those indoctrinated with all the bullshit they want you to believe when the MIND is a beautiful precious thing but they got everyone I chains they can't see

  4. The commentary about this movie is deceptive and adds to confusion. I'll refrain from accepting "The Take"'s narrative. It would be similar to accepting the Nazi's narrative of the holocaust.

  5. Get Out was a cool movie. However, it should have been a Black American in that role as it portrays the experience of the Black American and not the African who are two different people with separate histories and experiences

  6. Wow im sorry but the white people in this movie are super creepy but this is how white ppl come off to black people in real life. Ecspecially the racist white ppl …When we are being discriminated against this is how it looks from our eyes. Were just like why? Its honestly like living in the twilight zone amongst these ppl everyday. And they really just don't get it.

  7. This movie is extremely deeper than what I appeared see, thanks for opening my eyes and mind to see the real deal!

  8. this is pretty much life in the uk for bronze people. the level of subtlety in uk racism is next level, as they try so hard to look"civilized" ,can if you aren't careful, be the most intense mind game. the equivalent of "i voted for obama 3 times" is, "oh but London is the most diverse city ever" etc its a cover up. the uk or as i prefer to call it the DK (divided kingdom, as it will soon be) is the mind of the beast. USA the belly, australia and asia the foot stool and africa became the toilet of it all, in colonial times and now. hence the "shit-hole" comment. But Yah Elohim maker of the heavens and the earth has seen and they (this white serpent beast and his off-spring) will be devoured. The true hebrews revealed and take back all that is rightfully theirs. the heart is not hidden from Yah Almighty, be aware of white man's religion, the deception is big

  9. i like the similarities between Get Out and Stepford but I wouldn't call Get Out an "update" because the problems of being black and being a woman are entirely different. I'd rather not say minority issues just phased as one.

  10. Two things that break my heart about this movie:
    1) Throughout the movie, Chris continues to say “no, it’s okay, it’s alright, I’m used to it” when faced with racism. Maybe because he doesn’t want to be the angry black man, or because he doesn’t want to upset Rose. This negative view on people who get angry at injustice works to keep them in place, and his attempts to put on a smile keep him in the house.
    2) Rose’s parents ask him about his parents, but they fucking knew he was an orphan, and that’s why they targeted him. He wouldn’t be missed

  11. Im a super white mexican And i can completely say that when im talking to another white person and i slip up with my accent there demeanor towards me changes, when i talk to a black person they dont care and keep talking as is. I can also say that when i was in school i was preferenced more then my other classmates becouse i would be white and my accent was pretty much non existent then. There is a white privilege that i could see becouse im a hidden minority that took advantage of those privileges. I feel if i wasnt as white and my style wasnt so white my life would technically be way different. Barriers are definitely put up to other races. I had to go as far as say im half from Spain and American to close some job deals. Sucks.




  13. The car that the person came out of that snatched Dre (while he was bearded and reflected his Brooklyn self) is the same car the dad owned that Chris drove off on so seems Dre was going to meet up with rose

  14. I wish that the video had touched on the sunken place a bit more. There are the agents of the status quo the parents,the friends the, ppl in a life who are intrinsically motivated to subvert you personality, or to at lease shut up about the world that you see that’s different that they do.

  15. This was a bit overanalyzed but I liked it. I'm gonna share this with my slightly ignorant choir teacher. That is not to say that I'm woke or something. I mean I guess, but that's not the way I'd describe my relationship with race. It's complicated. We all know it is.

  16. I've got news for you. The tv movie made from SW in the 70s is preferable to this half cooked crap. Barely half cooked. This movie is OK. Just. And at least 20 m. too long.

  17. I went into this film not even knowing it was horror, only the vague memories of positive feedback when it came out. And I feel that made the experience even more powerful for me.

  18. An irony of Get Out is that it was filmed outside of Mobile AL, where I was born. Mobile was the very last city to officially shut down its slave trade, they held out and kept selling slaves for as long as they could. I'm sure it wasn't a conscious choice, but it ads an interesting factor.

  19. the movie reflects real fears of mine:jordan peele
    yeah we know we know ur racist af we know u think white folks would if they could hunt down black folks nd isert their brain into their brain and become white…the entire movies is racist…if we would reverse the roles this movie woudlve been an outrage ppl would protest it…..but its ok for blacks to be openly racist….the movie is proof of it…and btw the movie sucked big time its on the level of tyler perry madea movies pure bs

  20. Good movie but racists don't want the body of the group they hate, let's be real. It's why racists are made fun of cause their 'phobia' is laughable and just weird. No way an actual racist will want to do the things the racists did in this movie…

  21. Stepford Wives & Rosemary's Baby, aka "Bullshit Women Go Through – The movie". Get Out, aka "Bullshit Black People go through – The Movie". I am all for this brand of horror! <3

  22. What if this movie is actually about something that happened to Jordan peele in Hollywood or just being around rich and powerful white people?🤔

  23. For all interracial daters , get real 💯 , this is something different remember every movie starts from not ideas but plain reality , Romans been doing this for years

  24. Your analysis was totally different than other videos I've watched and yet just as valid and that's AMAZING. This movie has so many different meanings and interpretations and layers.

  25. A lot of the stuff y’all said tied back to slavery really ties to modern issues. People now more than ever are exploiting the black image, i.e. blackface

  26. At least the honesty of the word "paranoid" was used near the end…"cautiously paranoid" pretty much nails the best this video has to offer.

  27. 🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥
    see ray donavon season 6:5 minute 56.
    as the brother walks in the church ull see an owl looking image in the distance, once closer, its Jesus on the cross.

  28. It’s soo funny and ironic that even this breakdown is trying to compare black men to white women in the difference in stafford and rosemary! I mean black men have gone through way worse to dare even compare the rights of white woman to blacks when black are looked at as animal’s white woman are not! There is no comparison in this! This in it of itself is downplaying the Injustice of Blacks by trying to put it side by side with those other white movies! Well played 😒

  29. They also talk about the party being on the same date every year… It means it works as an annual auction. Every year rose brings a person to meet her parents.

  30. Racism is so creepy and brutal.
    It crawls over and constantly looms over you and always making you aware of its disgusting presence . Racism always wants you to know that it's there. It's so interesting how it can make you so brutally cruel where you see someone who's not like you less than an animal. You can see that individuals are suffering and it doesn't even bother your heart or your conscience .
    Your conscience is seared , no it's destroyed . Animals were treated better. Lord, never let me be like this. Guard your heart for all of it come the issues of life . The Bible says , The gifts that we have if they're not served in love they're empty.
    The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, how can you say you love God whom you cannot see and not love your brother who you see everyday, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love I am become as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
    God is love.

  31. The real reason why this movie is so scary is because it’s real. Infact worse things have happened to people of colour. No words will ever be able to describe the horrors of exploitation we had to go through.
    I have to be honest I’m too scared to watch the movie because how much I can relate to it, empathise with it.

  32. One thing I noticed in Get Out was the amount of color that I assume may have something to do with symbolism. For example, I noticed that Rose’s family would wear red and so I got the symbol of evil from that(I drew that conclusion based on how badly they were talking to Chris). After that party scene, I noticed Rose wearing a red striped shirt so I knew instantly that she was going to turn out bad(I was already getting some bad vibes from her early on in the movie). Along with red, I noticed some other colors in the movie as well like orange and yellow in the living room and basement. Still can’t put together what those mean, but I guess it could symbolize the happy, perfect, idealized life the white family lived. I don’t know.

  33. After the first time I watched this movie I have this feeling that it existed all the time. Like I have known it as a kid, it was not knew to me (after watching) and it will stay there for a long time. Like something we all know as a collective; a statue, a fairy tale, a painting. Recognizable. And a good film. No doubt.

  34. I didn’t think the taking over of the body was to symbolize slavery but to symbolize the taking of physical black culture and accomplishments by white america

  35. What if the first time he was hipnotysed he was already kept for surgery and tge rest of the movie was what she made him see during the hipnotism

  36. so interesting! malcolm x used to speak about being wary of the white liberal and their more discreet forms of racism 5:50

  37. It was not a good movie. Heavy pandering, convoluted “brain swap” ending.. what could have been a great film was pretty much a fumbled pandering nothing burger.

  38. The Boston Tea Party helped start the Revolutionary War like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand helped start World War I.

  39. This movie makes me think black people are strong and powerful and that’s why racist white people dont like them because they want to be like black people

  40. A paranoid racist comedian writes a metaphor filled, horror story about a paranoid group of racists, who take over the bodies of the oppressed . what a stretch.

  41. That scene in the beginning when they get pulled over , the cop wants his name in case he ends up missing but his fake virtue signaling girlfriend shuts it down , he thinks she’s AWSOME but she’s really royally screwing him over is brilliant

  42. I just watched this movie a second time and noticed that at the start of the movie, rose’s dad tells Chris not to go in the basement because there is “black mould” down there. This is foreshadowing for them using black people as molds for the procedure in the basement lab which you learn later in the movie.

  43. Also in the scene where they meet chris (before the auction scene) almost everyone is in white black or red, and all the black people are in colour. Similar to where black people are “coloured” so they are the only ones in colours where the white people are in colours that are an absence of colour

  44. I thought the ending was brilliant. He could have gone for the bleaker alternative and that would also make a good ending. But the fear we feel for Chris when we see the red and blue lights before we know it's Rod is quite enough to convey the message. Making him go to jail would just hammer that down even further. The ending is good because it takes us on a roller coaster of emotions: fear of the cop car, relief for seeing Chris catch a break and laughter at the idea of TSA being badass.

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