(This was written back in 2022)
This is my 3rd attempt at writing a review of “Get Out”. I had to re-watch the movie and do some research to find Easter eggs and things I did not realize the first time I watched it. I did some snooping around on Youtube and that helped me realize everything that I missed. There are things that I don’t want to talk about because I do not want to have too many spoilers in my review.
There is a term that caught my attention from a Youtuber I was watching who mentioned “negrophilia”. I have been surrounded by it all my life, especially in high-school, but I never knew what it was called. Negrophilia was introduced to me starting in middle school and became much more noticeable after Eminem became famous. During my freshman year of high school a lot of white boys dyed their hair blonde and got the same haircut as him. There were also white boys rapping around middle school either in the halls, classrooms, and the occasional talent show, but that was nothing compared to high school, when an onslaught of white boys bombarded urban and suburban areas alike trying to sound and look like Marshal Mathers.
Negrophilia has existed much earlier than “Hi! My Name Is”. It is derived from the French word “negrophillie”, which means “love of the negro”. The French, it turns out, were obsessed with fetishizing black culture in the 1920’s. I remember reading Anais Nin’s diaries from when she lived in NYC in high school and learning about her love of jazz and surrealism. She loved surrealism in movies. She and her friends immersed themselves in negrophilia with every movie ticket they bought and every jazz dance floor they visited, executing dance moves that were most likely stolen from black people.
Tiktok proves that negrophilia is alive and well. Black culture and the white people who fetishize it spread like wildfire after the advent of radio, motion pictures, and eventually television, followed by the internet and social media. This obsession is what the film “Get Out” tackles.
Negrophilia in today’s white liberal Americans is what “Get Out” is about specifically. Their attempts at being allies is damaging and gives black people the heebie-jeebies. Chris, the protagonist of the movie says flat out that being around white people while being the among the few and/or only black person makes him extremely uncomfortable. With each passing old white person his girlfriend introduces him to, you can see him start to recoil and become more and more “cringed out”. He wears their strange and invasive questioning like a sweater full of itching powder throughout the entire party scene.
He finally finds another fellow black person at the party and the more that Chris interacts with him, the more that itching powder feels like terror, and then Chris takes a picture of him on his phone with the flash on. Everything, and I mean everything, goes downhill from there.
I could go into the downward spiral that follows, but I don’t want to give too many spoilers. I will say this: in America, in the North, white supremacy in certain white liberals seem to scare a lot of black people more than the blatant in-your-face racism that is prevalent to the South. After I have dissected “Get Out”, I’ve decided I don’t blame any Black American for feeling that way. Learning about “the coagula method” made me just as uncomfortable as when I learned about “the Ludivico Technique” in the novel “A Clockwork Orange”.
The Ludivico technique is basically a way to brainwash young violent white males who are so privileged that they believe they can do anything they want to help the decay of society because of the safety net their white skin gives them. They are taught that violence and rape is a very terrible thing.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
“The Ludivico Technique is a brutal form of aversion therapy that includes movie clips of rape, violence and Nazi atrocities. The treatment causes them to become physically sick if they even think about committing a crime.” (similar to the aversion therapy given to some gay people to “straighten them out”).
“While government officials deem the procedure a success, the prison chaplain, who had befriended Alex (the narrator and star of the book), questions the ethics of removing one’s free will. According to him, good behavior should be a choice.”
Alex’s choice was taken away just like Chris’s choice was in “Get Out”. The thought of being that completely stripped of your freedom is a frightening concept that haunts white Americans and something white Supremacists have been trying to avoid in America at all costs. The tables being truly turned on them must keep them up at night. It certainly would for me if I were one of them.