One of my absolute favorite films is 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. At the time, the film was seen as controversial because it starred a black actor by the name of Duane Jones. The film shows Jones’ character running away, fighting and outsmarting zombies while both being terrified and determined. In the conclusion of the film, he beat the odds and survived the zombies he spent the film fighting. A cinematic feat! Until in the morning, where a posse of Southern white men looking to exterminate any and all remaining zombies mistake him for one of the undead and shoot him in the head.
They would go on to burn his body with all of the other ghouls he had been running from for 90 minutes. In a post-Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassination world, this moment of true horror was just as chilling as it was measured, political and disrupted the moral and political imaginations of the people who viewed it, not just entertained. This was my hope for Get Out, but instead, I was supplied with a film that desired to use racism, not help dismantle or disrupt it.