This blurb was originally published on and for ChristandPopCulture.com
The films we love best are those with layers to unfold. Jordan Peele’s initially underfunded and underrated film, Get Out, delivers an exceptionally thought-provoking and thrilling cinematic experience, filled with facsimiles of our present culture worth analyzing for generations. Among the many tiers to unfold, one proves especially relevant for the American church: assimilation as covert racism.
Get Out is a tale of a seemingly diverse and tolerant wealthy white suburban neighborhood, with the primary focus on the interracial relationship between a black man, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family. Her parents and the community seem to replicate an accepting and progressive picture of today’s America. As strange events begin to unfold, however, Chris feels uneasy and makes haste to flee the homestead.
Peele’s narrative illustrates that racial acceptance—though not always intentional, and usually unsaid—often requires conforming to the cultural, social, and political patterns of a domineering culture. Specifically, in the church, this can be conveyed through a number of mediums—worship style, dress, speech, and relationships.
For this reason, Get Out works as a parody of the awakenings and discoveries many Christian African Americans who were converted in the white evangelical church are regularly experiencing. What many found, and unknowingly pledged allegiance to, wasn’t the gospel, but a socio-political standard of white American cultural ideals.
Get Out is more complex than the racial issues of the American church, and there’s a treasure trove to be gleaned from it (whether one is Christian or not), but it must not be strictly remembered as a pure thought exercise. It’s subliminal social revelations make it the perfect bridge for those too afraid to watch horror or suspense; yet at the same time, Peele maintains the film’s Oscar-worthy notability within the genre. —Timothy Thomas