Approaches to Jordan Peele’s Get Out
Abstracts due: 9/3/17
Jordan Peele’s horror film, Get Out (2017) just became the highest-grossing debut project for a writer-director with an original screenplay (beating out the prior holder of that record, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s 1999 film The Blair Witch Project).
Get Out is not only an enormous box office success but it has won a critical acclaim unusual for a horror film—currently (as of early April, 2017) standing at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with 225 positive and only one negative review.
Popular writers and bloggers have already mapped out a whole panoply of contemporary issues that Get Out takes up (many of them guided by what Peele himself has said in interviews). The film tackles liberal racism, US electoral politics, white privilege, feminism, the targeting of black men by the police, the prison industrial complex, even slavery. And its place within the horror tradition is already being mapped, as writers have pointed out the film’s explicit and implicit connections to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Psycho (1960), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Stepford Wives (1975), Halloween (1978), and The Shining (1980).
Get Out is widely touted as having inspired countless conversations among its viewers—propelling many of them back to the theater for a second and third viewing—and so it seems time to begin a conversation among scholars of horror, scholars of film, and scholars of millennial popular culture and politics more generally.