It is by no accident at all that one of first songs you hear in Get Out is “Redbone” by Childish Gambino. At first, I thought it was a clever nod to Atlanta, a recent television series that features Keith Stanfield. The show was created to normalize a typical black narratives on television, and Stanfield plays this wonderful and quirky character, Darius. When you see a movie like Get Out, and knowing the genius that Jordan Peele is capable of, you get the immediate urge to replay the entire film because you know you missed something. This is more than a mere heart-racing thriller any fool with a camera and idea are capable of. Even without the quest of finding a deeper metaphor, this movie is a solid 10/10. I found one anyway: Stay woke. (Disclaimer: The content below this paragraph contains major spoilers, so if you have not seen this wonderful feature, I advise you not to read further.)
These lyrics are directly applicable to the overall plot of Get Out. Chris (David Kaluuya) is described as having a good eye by a blind art dealer, because of how he is able to provoke emotion with his photos. It’s an amazing juxtapositional moment, giving the eerie sense of foreshadowing. Chris is also very wary of his surroundings, pays attention to detail. His wokeness is confirmed when he calls his friend Rod to tell him the odd behaviors of the other black people he encounters when meeting Rose’s family and friends at their cabin. “It’s like they missed the movement or something.” This is usually what we in the black community say when we run into Uncle Tom types. You know, those who are conditioned to act as if they’re white to get ahead and reap the benefits of white privilege, but forget they’ll never escape the reality of their skin tone.
The opening scene is Logan (Stanfield) being dragged away by an unknown man playing “Run, Rabbit, Run” in his car, a song about hunting rabbits for sport:
Run! in this case, is equal to the warning of “Get Out.” Flash photography undoes the trance and incites violence. Chris takes photos as a job, and his obsession with recording everything on a lens is what triggers a response in Logan. Logan immediately attacks Chris, telling him to get out, because he should’ve run.
The Armitage family as a whole is selling the host bodies of black men in exceptional physical shape to preserve the consciousness of their peers. Rose’s mother, Missy Armitage, has perfected a method of hypnosis that can trigger immediate slumber at the sound of her spoon scraping the bottom of a teacup. Hence, those in the trance are literally no longer woke. And when do they catch these men (and women) slipping to replace their minds with old selfish white people’s? When they’re asleep. Chris has to physically keep himself awake to survive by the closing credits. And by the end of the film, when Chris’ good eye gives him all types of genius adrenaline to get out of that house, Jordan Peele is telling us to “stay woke.” Because they are out to get us, they’ll catch us when we’re sleeping.