Horror fans rejoice, because the trend of gritty slashers and thinking-man's thrillers is continuing well into 2017. #JordanPeele's radical racial redefinition is inviting audiences into cinemas instead of telling them to "GET OUT." While Peele may be used to being a cult comedian, the director's first foray into a life behind the camera highlights that his comic timing also has a skill for relevant societal issues.
Scoring an unprecedented score on review site Rotten Tomatoes, #GetOut is causing big political waves in an era where racism continues to be a dark blot on our history. With its unique premise and killer twist, you can't help but feel a sense of nostalgia for where Peele got the idea for Get Out. If you are a fan of white picket fences, tackling sensitive issues, and meta-social commentary, here are 10 films like Get Out that you should add to your DVD collection.
Warning: Spoilers for Get Out to follow.
1. 'The Purge'
While Get Out doesn't confine its white privilege mantra to one night of the year, the story of the wealthy doing what they want with those around them rings true in all three of James DeMonaco's Purge films. In particular, Get Out's "slave auction" was reminiscent of Papa Rico Sanchez selling himself in The Purge: Anarchy or the film's climax Frank Grillo's Leo and his group faced off against the auction hunting crowd. It is clear to see the comparisons when Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya is auctioned off to the highest-bidder, even if Anarchy had a bloodier finale.
2. 'Mississippi Burning'
Alan Parker's crime thriller focused on a series of disappearances, loosely based on the murders of three Civil Rights workers in 1964. Starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, Mississippi Burning may have had a mixed-reception on its release, but has since gone on to be a well-known addition to racially sensitive cinema. While Mississippi Burning was neither a #horror nor a comedy, the backlash of the local residents and an uncooperative police force mirrors the local authorities' pessimism about Chris's disappearance in Get Out, not to mention a town reliant on racism.
3. 'Django Unchained'
Being a Tarantino film, 2012's Django Unchained was always going to be a middle finger to American slave culture. With the N-word flying like flies around sh*t, Django (just like Get Out) could sometimes be uncomfortable to watch. Although set in very different time periods, they both tackle affluent white American families and their hold over black servants. While Django was an all-guns-blazing affair and Get Out was a little more subtle, both films see the film's African American lead exacting justice on his captors with a fist-bumping conclusion.
4. 'The Stepford Wives'
No, let's not focus of the dire Nicole Kidman remake, it's back to 1975 for the original film. Behind close doors, is suburbia really as wonderful as we all think? Peele himself has cited The Stepford Wives as an inspiration for Get Out, and it isn't hard to spot the similarities between Stepford and the Armitage Estate. The main characters in both films are seen as photographers, both are puzzled by the lack of help by the authorities, and both question the mismatched couples that they come across on their trip. The perfect neighborhood in Get Out seems like it was plucked from The Stepford Wives, while the area holds a whole host of dark secrets behind its middle-class artists and gentlemen's clubs.
5. 'The Skeleton Key'
So, that big twist, did anyone spot the similarity with lackluster horror The Skeleton Key? It may have starred the great John Hurt, but that didn't stop a lame performance from Kate Hudson as the lead from tanking the supernatural thriller. Where the two films cross paths is a slight reverse on the end goal of Get Out. In Peele's film, the aging white privilege families transfer their consciousness into the bodies of those younger, where it just so happens to be that being black was the latest "fad." The Skeleton Key saw Hoodoo practicing slaves living forever by exacting revenge on their slave masters in a similar transfer of mind into body. Had The Skeleton Key relied more on its social issues than a supernatural gimmick, we could've had Get Out back in 2005.
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6. '2001 Maniacs'
If Django were a subtle way to address racial slurs, Tim Sullivan's 2001 Maniacs was its hillbilly cousin. Based on the 1964 splatter film Two Thousand Maniacs!, the remake made more of racial stereotypes and class divides. The plot sees a band of Northern tourists dismembered by the ghosts of a Southern town thanks to dated views on the world. 2001 Maniacs is probably the most similar film on the list by offering a backward town of strange inhabitants and their racist ways. However, unlike Get Out's intelligent scripting, 2001 Maniacs was a much camper horror that relied on its gore factor rather than a clever premise.
7. 'Rabbit-Proof Fence'
Set in 1931, Rabbit-Proof Fence follows the tale of three girls kidnapped and placed into the “aboriginal integration program." A compelling true story, Rabbit-Proof Fence won a slew of awards for its sensitive handling of the story and racism. The girls are kidnapped by a white soldier on a superior's orders, just like Chris is kidnapped by Rose on the orders of her aging parents. Although Kenneth Branagh's Neville may seem like the villain, just like in Get Out, the real villain here is a prejudiced society.
8. 'Funny Games'
The clean-cut horror and crystal-clear white sheets of 2007's Funny Games was replicated in Get Out. Director Michael Haneke remade the film from his 1997 Austrian version (which is probably better), but the American version remains more mainstream. Just like Get Out, Funny Games is a witty commentary on social issues, but this time, it is a representation (and criticism) of the violence shown in cinema. What also twins the two films is their frankly WTF twists and unbelievable endings; they are by no means similar, but the two film's finales will have you talking for weeks to come and instantly stick in your mind as classic horror twists.
9. 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner'
Get Out may have seemed like a horror-based Meet the Parents, but the idea of an affluent daughter introducing her partner to disapproving parents was actually tackled in 1967. Iconized by the quote, "You think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man," Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a bold move back when inter-racial marriage was much more of an issue. Stanley Kramer's comedy-drama was ahead of its time, and although people claimed that Sidney Poitier's character, Dr. John Wayde Prentice Jr., was "too white" not to be accepted, the film was still a brave social commentary.
10. 'Green Room'
Finally, bringing in the swathe of the "new" horror resurgence, film's with a racial undertone are killing it at the box office. 2016's surprise hit Green Room threw a punk band in and among a group of radical neo-Nazis. Green Room and Get Out left with the uncomfortable feeling that places like this could still exist in the 21st century. Both films handled racism with the respect it demands, while somehow weaving it into a clever horror film. While Green Room's plot was a little more subtle, it also garnered critical acclaim for a relatively new director and has Jeremy Saulnier tipped for big Hollywood projects. Given the way that Get Out is going, Peele is heading down the same route.
Deja-view or something new? At least audiences and critics seem unanimous that Get Out is a success. As much as you try to compare Peele's work to what has come before, it is undoubtedly a film all of its own, and rightly deserving of its success. Peele already promises that his next film will focus on a different social issue, meaning that Get Out is just the start for the director's meta take on modern society and the issues we face. Who knows, maybe his next venture will be an American Horror Story-inspired election riff.
Watch the trailer for Get Out, and don't forget our poll below!
What did you think of 'Get Out'?
[Poll Image Credit: 'Get Out' - Universal Pictures']