Getting Into ‘Get Out’ – Updating Social Horror for Today’s America

An analysis of symbols and satire.
By  · Published on June 1st, 2017

An analysis of symbols and satire.

“Social horror” refers to films whose terror or evil is a reflection of actual cultural ills that exist in contemporary society. Rosemary’s Baby is a social horror film for what it says about traditional family roles, the decline of religious ideals, and the rise of American feminism; The Purge franchise is because of its extreme extrapolation of the pervasive violence in American culture as well as the overreach and totalitarian leanings of modern politicians. But if the phrase “social horror” has hit your ears recently, it’s likely because of Jordan Peele’s Get Out, the unquestionable surprise smash of the year.

Okay, so full disclosure, I have not seen the following video essay about Get Out because I have not yet seen the film. I know, I know, I’m ridiculous, but it’s number one on my must-see list, and here on the verge of finally getting my hands on it I’m desperate to retain its unspoiled status.

But I’m choosing to share this video anyway for two reasons: one, I suspect a lot of you are fans of Peele’s directorial debut so would welcome an informed analysis of its symbolism and deeper meanings, and two, it comes from Screen Prism, a site whose work I feature quite regularly, so I have every confidence it’s top-notch.

Over the course of what I’m certain are 15 fascinating minutes the video purports to examine just how Peele updates social horror for our contemporary, “more accepting” culture. Thought-provoking conclusions are drawn, I’m sure.

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