Trekking beyond his Key & Peele sketch comedy roots, Jordan Peele surprised a lot of people by making his debut feature a horror film. And while there are a few uncomfortable laughs to be found in Get Out, the bulk of the movie is a descent into madness that proves its main character, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), is right to be paranoid.
The film follows Chris as he visits his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) wealthy, white parents at their home, where Chris begins to suspect that something’s not right. Spoiler alert: He’s super correct, because the Armitage family is trying to sell his body to the highest bidder.
1. Get Out was inspired by an Eddie Murphy routine.
Jordan Peele points to the classic bit in Eddie Murphy: Delirious where Murphy asks why white people don’t just leave a house when a ghost shows up as one generation point for the film. “In The Amityville Horror the ghost told them to get out of the house,” Murphy riffs. “Now that’s a hint and a half for you a**. If a ghost said ‘get the f*** out,’ I would just tip the f*** out the door.”
2. Chance the Rapper gave away free tickets to Get Out's Chicago opening.
Obviously a massive fan of the movie, Chance the Rapper purchased every ticket for every opening day showing of Get Out at the Chatham Theater on 87th in Chicago, and urged his Twitter followers to claim a ticket at the box office on his dime.
3. 'The Sunken Place' in Get Out represents the marginalization of Black Americans.
The metaphor is nuanced and multi-layered, but the main theme of the film’s horror is the real-world concept of a system silencing you no matter how loudly you shout. On the Blu-ray, Peele also explicitly stated that it is “a metaphor for the marginalization of the black horror movie audience. We are a loyal horror movie fan base, and we’re relegated to the theater, not on the screen.”
4. Get Out is also about the Holy Grail.
In the opening scene when Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) abducts Andre (Lakeith Stanfield), he’s got a Knight’s Templar helmet, which is one small element of a detailed backstory Peele gave to The Red Alchemists Society, the secretive group that comes together to bid on black bodies to inhabit.
“They believe they are destined for immortality and deity status,” Peele said. “And over hundreds of years they have worked to figure out through science a way to achieve the power of the Holy Grail.”
5. Jordan Peele did impressions while directing Get Out.
When you’re known for impersonating President Barack Obama (with an anger interpreter by your side), why not bring that into the mix when you’re giving your actors notes? Peele’s on-set impressions included Obama and comedian Tracy Morgan.
6. Jordan Peele has voice cameos as a deer and in a commercial in Get Out.
As demonstrated in the video above, Peele provided the moan of the dying deer at the beginning of the film, as well as the voice of the narrator for the United Negro College Fund PSA, who keeps insisting that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
7. Get Out has been taught in universities.
In the fall of 2017, author Tananarive Due taught “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic” at UCLA. Peele even dropped by the class to expand on, among other things, the film’s metaphorical connection to the modern prison industrial complex.
8. You should re-watch Get Out to see what Rose does.
When Rose stops the cop from checking Chris’s license, it’s not to stand up for him against a racist act; it’s to ensure there’s no paper trail connecting Chris with her family. This is only one of many duplicitous acts Rose pulls off during the story, and Peele encourages fans to watch the movie again to see how Rose’s hidden intent plays.
9. Get Out was the first February release since The Silence of the Lambs to score a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
And The Silence of the Lambs went on to win. Peele notes the Jonathan Demme classic as partial inspiration for the film, citing the scene where Hannibal Lecter is calmly waiting at the end of the prison hospital hallway as a model for how he introduced Georgina (Betty Gabriel). Want one more Get Out/The Silence of the Lambs connection? They’re two of a very small number of horror films to be nominated for Hollywood’s highest honor.
10. Get Out's original ending was a downer.
The ending we all feared was initially the one Peele wanted for the film. He planned on having the police show up to arrest Chris for the carnage at the Armitage house, with Rod (LilRel Howery) visiting Chris in jail and hinting that he’d get life in prison with the system stacked against him.
11. Jordan Peele made Oscar history with Get Out.
In 2018, Jordan Peele won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out—making him the first Black filmmaker to earn the honor.