This is looking like another like another banner year for horror movies, with a number of scary flicks heading to theaters. And while 2017 sees the return of some iconic horror franchises like The Ring and Saw, this year also boasts a number of wildly original horror films, with Get Out leading the pack. The film is about a black man who travels to meet his white girlfriend's parents, and ends up uncovering their town's conspiracy to enslave black people. Unconventional for sure, but just how scary is Get Out?
While the premise of Get Out is undeniably unique, perhaps the most interesting and surprising thing about the movie is who conceived it. That would be comedian Jordan Peele, best known as one half of the sketch comedy duo Key & Peele. While obviously more known for being funny than for being a master of horror, Peele wrote and directed the movie on his own, suggesting that he certainly has talent that goes beyond comedy. And although Get Out does have some darkly comedic moments, it is definitely more of a horror film than a comedy. But even though Peele, until now, has strictly been known for comedy, I'm not at all surprised that he could craft a work of pure horror.
As I've mentioned before, horror and comedy are very similar. Both genres use the same element of surprise to achieve their desired goals, be it a scare or a laugh. No one is scared nor amused by something they see coming, which is why the best horror and the best comedy use the unexpected to their advantage. And at least one person agrees with me, Jordan Peele, who told Newsday's Rafer Guzmán about the similarities between horror and comedy:
"I think of the two genres as being very linked. You’re looking for visceral, audible reactions, and part of that art form is the ability to subvert what the audience thinks is going on."
During his interview, Peele also mentioned his two main influences in writing the film, and they're both horror classics: Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives. One features a woman who is raped by the devil and forced to have his baby, and the other is about a town where the men have turned their wives into mindless slaves. As those films addressed the fears of women, Peele said, his movie would investigate the fears of black people.
Further adding to the movie's horror cred is its production studio, Blumhouse Productions. If you've seen a horror movie over the past decade, odds are Blumhouse produced it. The studio has made a name for itself in crafting successful horror franchises out of films like Paranormal Activity and The Purge, and few will dispute that they know what they're doing when it comes to making scary movies. It seems they're continuing their winning streak with Get Out.
Despite the film's comedic heritage, make no mistake about it: Get Out is a horror movie, brought to you by one of the greatest comedy writers of today. It may sound weird, but just go with it... and prepare to be scared.