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‘Get Out’ – Secrets, Easter eggs and References from Jordan Peele’s Commentary

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We are currently halfway through 2017 and ‘Get Out’ is still my favorite film of the year. It has remained consistently fascinating and re-watchable. I saw it four times in theaters. I love it. Judging from the 99% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the massive box office for its budget, I don’t think I’m alone in this opinion. I recently picked up the Blu-Ray which is loaded with special features. There is an alternate ending, tons of deleted scenes and one of the most info-loaded commentaries I’ve ever heard. Jordon Peele is a massive fan of horror film and he filled ‘Get Out’ with homages to some of his favorites. On the terrific commentary he also goes into detailed background on the story. I thought it would be fun to share some of the things I learned. I hope you find this wealth of information as fascinating as I did.

*This article obviously contains spoilers.

I will be quoting Jordan Peele directly throughout the article. It’s awesome that he gave fans the kind of commentary that he would want to listen to.

“I’m going the full director blabbermouth route. In the beginning I was thinking like ‘hey, should I try and leave it like Kubrick so for years to come people are trying to piece together the mysteries of fucking ‘Get Out?’ Or should I just totally nerd out and tell you guys every detail I can possibly fit in?’ Which is exactly what I would want in a director’s commentary. So I did the nerd route.”

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-LORE AND MYTHOLOGY-

THE RED ALCHEMISTS SOCIETY

There is a ton of fascinating information contained in the commentary but my favorite has to do with the lore and myths of the ‘Get Out’ universe. Early in the film we see Jeremy Armitage  (Caleb Landry Jones) attack Andre (Lakeith Stanfield) wearing a metal helmet. This is specifically a helmet of the Knights Templar. The order which the Armitages and the guests at the party belong to is called The Red Alchemists Society. They are descended from the Knights Templar.

“They believe they are destined for immortality and deity status. Over hundreds of years they have worked to figure out through science a way to achieve the power of The Holy Grail.”

One of the symbols of The Red Alchemists Society is the Stag which can be seen above the TV in the basement as well as other places throughout the house.

THE PERFECT BEING

During the tour of the house, Dean Armitage (Bradley Whitford) tells Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) how his father was a track and field athlete and was beat in the qualifying round of the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Jesse Owens. “Within that we find sort of a motive for why the family ‘has it in for black people’ so to speak. Back in the day, Roman Armitage was physically beat by a black man on the world stage and he never got over it. He became obsessed with this idea that black people have more God-given advantages and that combined with a white man’s determination, you could make the perfect being.”

THE AUCTION

“I wanted to keep the particulars of how this auction works mysterious. What are the numbers? Are they millions of dollars? Billions of dollars? In my particular lore… The Knights Templar who this group are descended from were collectors of antiquities and treasures… They trade amongst each other these relics and artifacts. The numbers he is holding up are the amount of relics.”

THE SUNKEN PLACE

“This is meant to be a construct of Chris’s mind. It is a representation of his own worst fear. This place, this time he was powerless and sort of confined to this constraint and all he could do is watch this TV… The Sunken Place is experienced differently for everyone else. It is a state of mind created by your own brain based on Missy’s sort of latching on to your deepest fear or darkest moment so that Andre, the woman that Georgina is or Walter all live in a sort of marginalized state. They can see through the eyes of their captor but they can’t do anything… Everyone’s room and Sunken Place would look different.”

THE ARMITAGE FAMILY

“So this is all carefully planned dynamic from the family. The whole lore of this movie goes that Rose and Jeremy were basically raised to do this purpose. From a young age they were groomed into these wranglers… So every step here is very calculated. Missy is the master of the plan of how to get them there and how to maintain the illusion. She understands psychology. Dean is the master of the science of the operation.”

Rose/Ro-Ro – Peele calls the evil version of Rose (Allison Williams) ‘Ro-Ro’ and says she is probably his favorite character in the movie. Ro-Ro is a distinctly different personality than Rose, even down to the fact that she wears her hair in a pony tail. Once it is revealed that she is part of the conspiracy and Missy paralyzes Chris, Rose immediately puts her hair in a pony tail.

Jeremy – “I think Jeremy secretly wants Chris’s body. He’s into this idea that he might be able to get that body and become better at jiu-jitsu.”

Georgina and Walter – Peele says that the grandparents are told to stay away from the operation because they are not good at deceit and may give it away. They are offended at being pushed to the side and act resentfully which explains some of their strange behavior.

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-EASTER EGGS-

There are numerous homages throughout the film to some of Peele’s favorite horror and genre films. One film however is a favorite of Jordan Peele’s and referenced many times in the movie:

‘THE SHINING’ REFERENCES

– In the opening scene of the film, Andre says “It’s like a fuckin’ hedge maze out here” which is a reference to the Overlook Hotel hedge maze.

– The opening credits are colored light blue to match the color of the opening credits of ‘The Shining.’

– When Dean Armitage gives Chris a tour of the house, this is inspired by the scene where Jack is given a tour of The Overlook.

– The first time Georgina is seen in the kitchen is an homage to the scene of the Grady twins. The camera comes around the corner and she is patiently waiting for him just like the twins.

– The section of the film which focuses on Rod (LilRel Howery) after Chris is captured by the Armitages is like the section of ‘The Shining’ where Dick Hallorann attempts to help the Torrances (Peele also references another Stephen King story in saying this is like the Sherriff attempting to help in ‘Misery.’) I wanted to have a character on the outside offer some hope. We love Rod, so I felt like in the darkest moment of the movie we can sort of begin a new chapter.” 

OTHER REFERENCES

– The suburban street Andre walks down at the beginning of the film is similar to the neighborhood from John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween.’

– The white Porsche that Jeremy Armitage drives is a few references in one. Peele wanted it to be a faceless monster like the shark in Jaws. Also as you can’t see the driver, he was using the “car as a mask” referencing both John Carpenter’s ‘Christine’ as well as Steven Spielberg’s first film ‘Duel’ in which a man is ruthlessly pursued by a malicious truck with an unseen driver.

– The ‘Behold the Coagula’ video was inspired by the Dharma Initiative videos from ‘Lost.’

– The film is very reminiscent of ‘The Stepford Wives.’ Peele often describes the film as “‘The Stepford Wives’ meets ‘The Help.'” This is most directly seen in the character of Georgina (Betty Gabriel) who is intended to convey the alarming artificiality of The Stepford Wives.

– The title of the film conjures the old Eddie Murphy comedy routine about “The Amityville Horror’ and how a black family would deal with that situation. A voice says “Get out!” and Murphy immediately says “Too bad we can’t stay, baby…”

– The scene of Walter (Marcus Henderson) running at Chris in the dark which prompted countless ‘Get Out challenge’ videos was inspired by the classic plane scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘North By Northwest.’ “One of my favorite things is using depth… Somebody running at you just creates a visceral and physical reaction from the audience.”

– The scene where Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) hypnotizes Chris is inspired by ‘The Silence of The Lambs’ and Hannibal Lecter’s mastery of being able to get into Clarice Starling’s head.

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-OTHER INTERESTING TIDBITS-

– The font used in the opening credits is the same as the ‘Behold the Coagula’ video.

– The composer for the film is first timer Michael Abels. Peele wanted something never heard before. He requested “give me black voices with a sinister sound that’s not voodoo. A disembodied or Satanic negro spiritual.”

– When we first see Chris, he is putting white on his face (as he is shaving.) This is to foreshadow what will be attempted on him later.

– Rose has the same smile at the beginning of the film while selecting pastries as she has at the end when she is using her laptop and looking at photos of men, selecting who her next victim would be.

– Early in the film, Chris says to Rose “I don’t wanna be chased off the lawn with a shotgun.” This foreshadows the end of the film when Rose fires a shotgun at him across the lawn.

– Rose defends Chris when the police officer asks him for ID saying that he does not have to show it as he was not driving. Her real motivation for this was so the cop would not be able to identify him when he goes missing.

– During the backyard iced tea scene, Missy Armitage can be seen laying the groundwork for her later hypnotizing of Chris by clinking the teacup with her spoon as he is talking about his mother.

– The stuffed lion next to Rose’s bed is because “The lion is a symbol of Christ and of course the Knights Templar.”

– When Walter/Roman Armitage is seen out running at night it is because he is training. He believes that with his new body, he could beat Jesse Owens’ time.

– On the closet door in Rose’s room which is continually left open: “In my mythology of this: Rose is so sick and twisted that she always leaves the door a little bit open… That’s part of the thrill of the hunt- leaving a tantalizing opening for Chris to find these pictures. That’s just part of her character. Her sort of flaw is she’s sort of like a cat and mouse.”

– On the cotton Chris uses to plug his ears near the end of the film: “I was intending the irony of picking cotton is what ends up saving this African American from slavery.”

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-RACIAL METAPHOR-

Jordan Peele speaks frankly about the strong racial meaning of the film:

“The Sunken Place amongst other things is a metaphor for the marginalization of the black horror movie audience. We are a loyal horror movie fanbase and we’re relegated to the theater, not on the screen. We don’t have representation of our skin in horror films, nor do we have representation of our sensibilities and our ability to observe trouble before it happens and our ability to excuse ourselves… This movie for me was an answer to the lack of representation. I think as a culture, as a country our lack of ability to talk about race- specifically the prison industrial system complex and the disproportionate amount of black people (mostly men) who are literally abducted, thrown into a hole and tossed to the back of our minds. These people are tossing black men to the back of their minds literally and figuratively. The Sunken Place is a metaphor for that particular marginalization.”

“This movie is sort of meant to be my take on ‘Frankenstein.’ In many ways, The African American experience is this country’s Frankenstein’s Monster.”

 

‘GET OUT’ IS AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND DIGITAL NOW

 

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Beyond Fest returns to Los Angeles with the best genre lineup you’ll see in 2016

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It’s no secret the Cult Classics and Cult Following crew are a big fan of Los Angeles’ annual Beyond Fest genre film festival. Held annually every year at the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater , Beyond Fest is the non-profit festival brainchild of Death Waltz Records, American Cinematheque, Spectrefest, Meltdown Comics, Fantastic Fest and Shudder. 2016 stands to be the festival’s best year ever. With the LA premiere of Phantasm Remastered, the West Coast premiere of Phantasm Ravager, plus a 30th anniversary screening of Big Trouble in Little China with Kurt Russell live in person, and Fabio Frizzi and Wu Tang’s RZA BOTH doing a live film re-scores, this festival is the genre film event of the West Coast. Check out the full lineup after the jump! The Cult crew will be there catching many of these films and will let you know our thoughts on the festival!

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Enchantress & Incubus: Understanding the Villains of Suicide Squad

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Walking out of Suicide Squad, many viewers may be asking who exactly Incubus is and what is his connection to Enchantress? We take a look at these characters and explain what their backstory is and how it ties into Suicide Squad’s A-plot. Beware there be spoilers in this article after the jump.

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New Horror Home Video Label REEL GORE launching from the people behind Cult Epics

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We at Cult Following are pretty big fans of Cult Epics. Nico B. has put out a ton of movies that are just weird and mesmerizing and wouldn’t have a home if they didn’t have a disributor with Nico’s unique eye. I’ve reviewed Behind Convent Walls on Cult Following before, as well as Car Cemetery, and School of the Holy Beast. Kirby has also reviewed Nekromantik‘s recent Blu Ray release from Cult Epics as well and raved about it.

So we were psyched to learn about his latest project, Reel Gore Releasing, which will be focusing on newly produced Italian Euro-horror it seems. We’re excited to check out their first releases, VIOLENT SHIT, MASKS and BLOOD ON MELIES’ MOON which seem to invoke a lot of the stuff we loved in films like DEMONS and DEEP RED. Check out the press release below:

NEW LABEL LAUNCH: REEL GORE RELEASING Los Angeles, CA (June 2016)

For immediate release. Cult Epics founder Nico B and film producer Steve Aquilina will be launching a new horror label REEL GORE RELEASING as of August 2016, distributed thru CAV (home of CultEpics, Synapse, Grindhouse) in North America. With the recent success of the horror films of Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik) and Angst, Nico B teamed up with Steve Aquilina from 8-Films to launch a new label for newly produced gore horror films to premiere on video and digital.

The first three films are VIOLENT SHIT – THE MOVIE (August 2016), a bigger budget revamp of the cult-schlock-gore classics from the 80s, shot in Italy featuring a soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin; followed by MASKS (September 2016), German giallo gore feast from the director Andreas Marschall (Tears of Kali, German Angst), and the return to directing of Luigi Cozzi (Contamination) with BLOOD ON MELIES’ MOON (October 2016) with guest appearances by Dario Argento & Lamberto Bava.

For more info see www.reelgorereleasing.com and join us for updates at www.facebook.com/reelgorereleasing www.twitter.com/reelgoremoviesCAV

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Free Advanced Movie Screening of CRIMINAL in Albuquerque, NM on April 12th at 7pm!

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Hey Albuquerque! Your friends at Cult Classics want you to see an advanced screening of the new sci-fi film CRIMINAL on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 at the Regal Winrock at 7pm. Here’s the synopsis and trailer!

The story of the right man in the wrong body. In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous death-row inmate in hopes the he will complete the operative’s mission.

Summit Entertainment and Millennium Films present a Benderspink production and Millennium Films production and a Campbell Grobman Films production, a film by Ariel Vromen.

To get your passes, check out this link:

ALBUQUERQUE SCREENING:
Regal Winrock
Tuesday, April 12 7 PM
link: http://tinyurl.com/CultCCrimAlb

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