Get Out: It’s Not A Laughing Matter

Sight and Sound magazine recently declared Get Out it’s film of 2017. And while I personally disagree with this, I do think it’s a good, solid film which is certainly deserving of its praise, but it’s not my personal favourite film of 2017. However, I can understand why so many critics praise it, and why it was a hit among the public. There’s two genres that still remain popular among cinema attendees today, horror and comedy. Both genres get to address issues occuring in society without sacrificing narrative and action for ideology.

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It certainly seemed bizarre to me that Get Out would be placed in the comedy category for the Golden Globes. Most horrors border on the fine line between tragedy and comedy because the natural instinct is to laugh in the face of danger. Get Out, sounds like a prosperous spoof on the classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner but the undertones and the tensions felt throughout society have helped shape a different perspective and reaction to the film. The Golden Globes doesn’t know how to react, they are not used to genre films being intelligent and dealing with big social issues such as race. It is traditional dramas like 12 Years a Slave and Selma which address the topic of race and identity politics.

However, part of the success of Get Out is down to the fact that it presents us with a hyper reality, a chilling world of “what if” which plays on our prejudices. It holds up the smeared mirror so we can gaze upon our dirty reflections. The Golden Globes is a light hearted pre-Oscar affair which favours comedy skits rather than big political statements, so it’s no wonder it wants to look upon its true self.

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Get Out is a film which deserves to be viewed and studied, regardless of whether you enjoyed it or not. I certainly found it didn’t quite live up to the hype. I think the ending lets it down, but I can’t help but notice its importance. It is a film which is very contemporary and original in its approach to genre storytelling, which is something the Golden Globes struggles to grasp.

The Golden Globes seem to adore nostalgia, look how they seemed to over-praise the likes of American Hustle and La La Land, because these film play on our memories of the past seen through rose-coloured glasses. Again, is this is another reason for their slip up with placing Get Out in the comedy category? Can they comprehend the idea that a film that is set in the present can have a strong message? Sure, we should be concentrating on the past and longing for a simpler time – patting ourselves on the back for how far we’ve come.

Get Out will more than likely be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.  I believe it might be pushed aside for a film that deals with sexual abuse or victimhood to scoop up the big prize, what with the #metoo movement impact. It’s a shame of course, but it’s purely politics.

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Even if the Golden Globes and the Oscars fail to recognise the significance of Get Out, it has certainly left a lasting impression on critics and audience’s alike. And it’s helps people realise that horror is a genre to be taken seriously.

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