Jordan Peele’s debut film, Get Out, is probably not the horror movie you may have expected to see. However, I can tell you it is the horror movie we all need and deserved to see right now. I know what you’re thinking. “Calm down Batman. What do you know anyway?” Well, let me tell you what I know.
Recent “scary” movies to debut in late 2016 and into 2017 have not been very impressive by my personal standards. From the lackluster gore in 31, to the not-as-frightening-as-we-thought-they-would-be children of Ouija: Origin of Evil, recent films have given us striking visuals without coherent substance. What these films lacked in an original plot and development of their characters, they made up for in blood. We may have been shocked watching sociopathic clowns cut through hippie flesh with chainsaws, but we did not sympathize with their suffering. “Do you know what it feels like to be strangled to death?” sends chills up your spine when it emanates from a petite elementary school girl, but is that moment of terror worth watching a movie that gives us an unimpressive, and completely unoriginal, Nazi-background twist? We should want more from our horror movies. Instead of vibrant hues of crimson and demonic facial contortions, we need characters that demand empathy and stories that reveal rather than unravel. Hollywood films can not only provide shocking entertainment, but also be our best avenue for social commentary. Horror, I like to argue, displays the biggest triumphs through the darkest of places. My beef with these recent films is that they don’t provide that triumph, they just leave us hanging.