This post contains spoilers about the plot and ending of Get Out.
Fans of Jordan Peele’s excellent directorial debut, Get Out, have wasted no time trying to suss out the film’s multiple layers and hidden meanings. On its surface, the thrilling blockbuster is about a black guy visiting his white girlfriend’s in-laws—and uncovering a horrific family secret in the process. But Peele, who also wrote the film, also packed his film with funny, bizarre, and meaningful Easter eggs and references. Here are five surprising things you might not have noticed the first time around. (Guess you’ll just have to see the movie again, right?)
Psychotic Froot Loops
Near the end of the film, Alison Williams’s character, Rose, eats a strange snack while searching for her next victim and listening to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”: an assortment of Froot Loops, which she bizarrely eats one by one with a tall glass of milk. In an interview with Vanity Fair prior to the film’s release, Peele explained how that idea came to fruition.
“That’s one of my favorite scenes,” he said. “I came up with it a couple days before we shot it, just feverishly trying to figure out what is the most fucking psychotic snack she could be eating, and what is the most psychotic way she could be doing it. And so, yeah, we had this idea that she’s like total O.C.D., stunted growth, and just one of these people that eats her old childhood snacks in exactly the way she used to do it.”
Cotton’s Double Meaning
Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) is ultimately able to escape from his captors—and their hypnotic powers—by stuffing his ears with small bunches of cotton. His use of cotton in particular is just another racially charged bit of social commentary.
One of the film’s more unsettling scenes (before that big, bloody ending) takes place when Chris steps outside late at night for a cigarette. While he’s out there, he sees Walter (Marcus Henderson) running at top speed in the backyard, oblivious to Chris’s presence. We later find out that Walter is the host for Rose’s evil grandfather . . . who never got over the fact that Jesse Owens beat him at the Olympics. Hence the maniacal late-night running sprees.
Sharp viewers have also pointed out that the Olympic loss might have been the incident that inspired the elder Armitage to start the sickening, cultish business of luring in and lobotomizing black men and women.
A Swahili message
Curious music fans will be delighted to know that even the film’s soundtrack is filled with secret meaning—although, it’s probably not so secretive if you speak Swahili. In an interview with GQ prior to the film’s release, Peele noted that one of the songs at the beginning of the film—“Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga” by Michael Abels—features Swahili lyrics that contain a chilling message. “The words are issuing a warning to Chris. The whole idea of the movie is ‘Get out!’—it’s what we’re screaming at the character on-screen. They go, ‘Brother, brother,’ in English, and then something to the effect of, ‘Watch your back. Something’s coming, and it ain’t good,’ ” he explains.
Peele also confirmed to a fan on Twitter that the lyrics include the message “listen to ancestors . . . run away!”
By now, it should be no surprise that Peele has littered Get Out with references to horror classics of the past, including some potentially subtler references to films like A Clockwork Orange and Deliverance. However, one film that is referenced time and time again in Get Out is The Shining, a key classic that shaped Peele’s longtime obsession with horror movies.
At one point, the number 237 is mentioned over the P.A. system in one of the film’s scenes, a direct reference to the terrifying hotel room in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece.
There’s also another reference to the classic movie during the introduction of the mentally enslaved Andrew (played by Lakeith Stanfield). “As he’s walking through a very Halloween-esque white suburb, he goes, ‘Man, I feel like I’m in a hedge maze out here,’ ” Peele pointed out in an interview with V.F. Devoted Key and Peele fans will also recall that Peele has parodied this film before, in the sketch “Continental Breakfast.” (Note also that Peele’s character stays in hotel room . . . 237.)
Currently, Peele’s Twitter photo is a still from that sketch, so yes—he really, really loves The Shining.
By Yohana Desta
Courtesy of Vanity Fair