Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Get Out’ (2017)



Ever get that sunken feeling? A hellish thing. Persephone, siphoned out of a field while she was picking posies en route to servitude, knew it well. And somehow Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out, has turned that Greek myth on its head so that its bones miraculously structure the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) – wielding a camera instead of wild flowers – heading off on a road trip with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to visit her liberal, professional parents (Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford), who don’t know Chris is black.

On site, there’s a Stepford Wives-like black couple working as a maid and a groundskeeper, as well as a black guest (Lakeith Stanfield) among a party entourage who’s presence, although familiar, carries a disturbing formality. And there’s Rose’s brother (Caleb Landry Jones) who’s simply disturbing.

As with most horror films, certain archetypes do the heavy lifting. The Neptunian blur – it rules sleep, “hypnos” in Greek – of not seeing things as they are. The sudden Uranian shock of recognition and awakening. The Plutonian bywords of absolute power to the manipulators and powerlessness to the victims, along with emotional and physical transformation.



Without giving too much of the movie’s deliciousness away, let’s just say a key set-up involving Chris’s motor-mouth best friend and TSA worker, Rod (Lil Rel Howery) – his  mantra to his buddy from the beginning is “Don’t go to a white girl’s parents’ house!” – will become a glorious payoff.

Archetype: Sleeper. Victim. Power. Abduction. Facade. Servitude.

Astrology Archetype: ♅ ♆ ♇ (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)

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