THE NEW PAR­ENT TRAP

This Hol­ly­wood hor­ror takes the fear of meet­ing the in-laws to a whole new level, as pro­tag­o­nist Chris no­tices some­thing is se­ri­ously wrong with his girl­friend’s par­ents

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - NEWS -

It’s the hor­ror movie of 2017 that shocked cinema au­di­ences on mul­ti­ple lev­els. Firstly, it was writ­ten by US sketch comedian Jor­dan Peele, who pre­vi­ously had no con­nec­tion to hor­ror films. Se­condly, it’s been ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions in a big way, break­ing box of­fice records. Thirdly, it’s scary as hell. Jor­dan Peele dis­cusses the meth­ods to this mad­ness for his first fea­ture film, Get Out.

With your back­ground and com­ing from sketch com­edy, what story did you want to tell when you started putting pen to pa­per? What was the at­trac­tion to writ­ing a hor­ror genre, and want­ing to tell a racial story?

It was def­i­nitely hor­ror. I want to tell a story about some­body feel­ing the para­noia about be­ing an out­sider. I think what ex­cited me first was not even racially in­volved, but the idea of feel­ing like you are hang­ing out with peo­ple who have a his­tory, who have pri­vate jokes, and you have to kind of main­tain a cer­tain so­cial com­fort and at the same time have this to­tal mys­tery to what these peo­ple’s con­nec­tions are and what their his­tory is. That was just a fas­ci­nat­ing idea that I thought I could mine some hor­ror from. It wasn’t un­til re­ally a lit­tle bit later that I re­alised you know what, let’s go for the racial story. Let’s make the hor­ror movie about race that hasn’t been made.

Are you a fan of the hor­ror genre? Did you grow up with it? Did it in­spire any­thing in you or scare the hell out of you?

It scared the hell out of me grow­ing up. At some point, maybe about 12 or 13 years old, I sort of came to the terms that any­thing that could af­fect me that thor­oughly was spe­cial.

What were the films that af­fected you?

Night­mare on Elm Street, The

Shin­ing, The Fly – I was to­tally haunted when I would try to go to sleep at night. And at some point, yes, it was like a switch flipped in my head and I said, yes, I have to re­spect some­thing this pow­er­ful. And it re­ally is, for bet­ter, but usu­ally worse, one of the most com­pelling emo­tions that we have as hu­mans.

Let’s bring race into this. This is re­ally the first hor­ror film where race is ac­tu­ally part of the sto­ry­line, rather than African-Amer­i­can char­ac­ters sim­ply be­ing a part of the cast. How much were you ex­plor­ing the idea that a white per­son in the role would have thought about and ap­proached the sit­u­a­tion Chris finds him­self in dif­fer­ently?

You know I thought about that a lot. Even the ti­tle Get Out comes from the Ed­die Mur­phy rou­tine, where he dis­cusses the dif­fer­ence be­tween the black and white hor­ror movie au­di­ence. This is in a lot of ways about rep­re­sen­ta­tion of black voice in the hor­ror space. And so along with that, to me meant that I had to craft a movie that was for the typ­i­cally black hor­ror movie goer who gets frus­trated when some­body does some stupid s--t, and with­out rep­re­sen­ta­tion we have been in a lot of ways marginalised. So you see there’s themes within the movie with re­gards to the Sunken Place for ex­am­ple, that is very much a mo­tif that sym­bol­ises this marginal­i­sa­tion, of we are in a dark theatre, look­ing at a screen, scream­ing “get out” through a world that we can’t af­fect and that we don’t have rep­re­sen­ta­tion within. So yeah, this movie, I hope that when peo­ple re­ally look at it, they look at the layer of it be­ing and fill­ing a void in the art form of hor­ror movies.

Get Out is in cin­e­mas now

I WANT TO TELL A STORY ABOUT SOME­BODY FEEL­ING THE PARA­NOIA ABOUT BE­ING AN OUT­SIDER

Get Out is the kind of film you prob­a­bly won’t want to watch alone.

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