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Five films to watch before you see 'Get Out'

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I saw Get Out last night, and yes, the hype is entirely justified – it's brilliant. I’ve long known that Jordan Peele is a genius, ever since I watched the first episode of Key & Peele, and his ascent into movie-land is only going to continue after the strength of this (and Keanu, of course). 

In watching Get Out, I noticed a lot of things, such as: Peele knows how to do scary as well as funny; sitting on the front row of a cinema is extremely annoying; loud, high pitched noises still have the capacity to make me swear in public; and that Get Out reminded me of a few other movies. Taking the latter point as a jump-off, and seeing as you’ve got just over a week before it comes out, why not spend that time watching the below flicks to tide you over?

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Get Out is essentially a horror remake of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, and was the clear inspiration for Peele’s film. In actuality, both films are very similar for their respective first halves, before they veer off on wildly different courses. Similarly, they both tackle race-relations in revolutionary ways (albeit, slightly different ways, in the end) and seem to be raising dialogues that not many other filmmakers are. Just think – interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 states in the US during the filming of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. 

Society

This paranoia-heavy and absolutely vile film concerns a young man, who much like Get Out’s central protagonist, Chris, is entirely suspicious of the upper-class white families that appear to be closing in on him. Whereas in both films, shit most definitely hits the fan at the climax, the last 20 minutes of Society is truly one of the most disgusting, gloopy and sickening things you’ll ever see. This film is so good, yet so, so gross.

Two Thousand Maniacs! / 2001 Maniacs

Both the original and the remake work in this case – although those averse to a terribly-acted, garish 1964 splatter film with bright red paint as blood might find the remake a tad more palatable (only just, though). Both films concern a gang of youts who take a wrong turning and end up involved in a yearly Confederate celebration in a deep south town. Obviously, they all end up getting killed in increasingly violent, and often hilarious ways. Both films deal with an ominous annual event in a small community, but Peele’s film doesn’t go the well-worn route of the redneck racist, it flips it on its head into something entirely different.

The Lottery

This 1969 short film is based on the famous short story of the same name, written by Shirley Jackson about another mysterious yearly “celebration” that is altogether far more sinister than it purports itself to be. This shares a number of similarities to Get Out, including one that to reveal would be to spoil, so I won’t. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube below. They also made a feature length sequel/adaptation/remake in 1996, which isn’t half-bad either.

Martyrs

The above movies are recommendations, but this one is definitely not. It’s a film about a two young woman, one of whom discovers that a family hides a terrible secret within their house, which much like Get Out, comes crashing to the fore at the climax. This film somehow got a number of positive reviews and was even hailed a masterpiece by some, but its psuedo-philosophising has nothing on Get Out’s thought-out social message. Still, it’s really, really violent if you like that sort of thing.

Get Out, which you absolutely must see, is out in cinemas on March 17.

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