Warning: Spoilers for the ending of Get Out, obviously.
When Get Out was released unto the world, it absolutely blew people away with its social commentary and genuine scares.
The film penetrated the zeitgeist the moment it was released, and before long moments of the film had become a meme, which in today’s world is one of the greatest compliments a film can get.
The film’s ability to put people in the position of this protagonist was incredible, and by the end of the film, seeing those red and blue lights was a truly terrifying sight.
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That is no mean feat to pull off, but director Jordan Peele did so with aplomb, and then treated us to a classic bait and switch at the last minute.
It was a great way to let audiences finally breathe that sigh of relief which had been stuck inside us from about 15 minutes into the film’s running time.
But part of me felt a bit cheated, the ending didn’t seem to fit with the grim indictment of society which had preceded it, and almost felt too happy thematically to truly resonate.
It didn’t detract from the brilliance, but it kind of felt like there was a much darker ending hidden in there somewhere, and now we know there definitely was.
In the footage, we see Chris escape the clutches of Rose and her family, before a couple of police officers come and take him to prison. Cut to six months after and he’s still in prison, with his best buddy Rod trying to get him to tell him the names of people involved.
Chris is having none of it, and seems consigned to his fate in prison, knowing he stopped the horror for anybody in the future, and that is enough.
Check it out here:
The ending is incredibly dark, and (to my mind better), but director Jordan Peele has his reasons for changing the ending.
He admitted this ending is the ‘gut-punch’ which the film needed to call out this ‘post-racial’ lie of the Obama era.
In the director’s commentary, Peele said:
All the evidence is burnt down, and of course this is a system which values the rich white people. It takes their side.
My feeling in this movie is what that Chris would end up in jail just because of how it looks. This was a really powerful scene to shoot and Daniel’s and Rel’s acting was so good so it was kind of criminal to move on from this in that respect.
We find this thing where Daniel isn’t looking at Rel the entire scene until he has to tell him, ‘Look, it’s six months. You’re fighting a lost fight. You’re up against some Illuminati shit’.
Chris is a martyr, he beat the dragon. But more importantly for Chris, when he says, ‘I beat it’, he means that inner demon.
That was the moment he went back for Georgina, after hitting her in the car, he defeated his personal demon of when he didn’t go and get his mother.
So in a way he made the only decision that would free his soul, and even though he’s in prison like many black men are, unjustly, but his soul is free.
By the time I was shooting it it was quite clear that the world had shifted, racism was being dealt with, people were woke, and people needed a release and a hero.
That’s why I changed the ending and had Rod show up at the end.
It’s a legitimate reason for changing the ending, but did it dilute the message of Get Out?