Get Out, the Oscars, and the Horror Genre

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Get Out has scored big in the 2018 Oscar race. The film has been nominated for Best Picture, Jordan Peele has been nominated for Best Director, and Daniel Kaluuya has been nominated for Lead Actor.

If Get Out wins Best Picture, it will be the only horror movie, other than 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs, to do so. Recently, there has been an ongoing debate as to whether or not Get Out is a horror picture. From the get-go, I have stuck with the belief that Get Out is indeed a horror film. AMC’s FilmSite defines horror films as, “unsettling films designed to frighten and panic, cause dread and alarm, and to invoke our hidden worse fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience.”

The definition is pretty standard, and Get Out certainly fits into it, despite the fact that it was placed in the comedy category at the Golden Globes.   Peele was quoted in Newsweek as saying about comedy and horror, “They’re both about truth,” adding, “If you are not accessing something that feels true, you’re not doing it right…you have to be very tuned into the audience and their emotion.”

Get Out works so well as a horror film because it hits all of the right psychological notes, specifically pertaining to racism and white liberals’ compliance. In that regard, Get Out stands with some of the best horror films, the ones that are keenly aware of their audience and issues pertaining to their time periods.

I will be rooting for Get Out to snag some Oscars. I’ll also be rooting for The Shape of Water, a film that leads the Oscar race in nominations and borrows much from the Universal Monsters golden age.

 

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