Comment: Get Out is a persuasive lesson in the power of gut instinct

As horror films go, Get Out is up there with one of the best of the last decade.

Perfectly paced and thoroughly unsettling, Jordan Peele's depiction of the tension surrounding inter-racial relationships in the States ultimately gives way to an even darker, more horrifying narrative.

With a host of actors undoubtedly relishing the prospect of having an audience hold their breath through each unnerving on-screen exchange, Get Out reminds us that when our gut tells us something isn't quite right, we should probably listen.

Unlike other films of the same genre which often leave the viewer questioning the reactions and motivations of the lead character, Get Out perfectly taps into the individual's fear of rocking the boat or engendering ill will, and flawlessly places the viewer in the shoes of Chris – a young photographer meeting his new girlfriend's family for the first time.

While Chris becomes more and more unsettled by the conduct of the Armitage family, the compulsion to acquiesce dictates his initial reaction – a response many of us will have recognised.

It's not quite right, but is it wrong enough for me to leave? It's not quite right, but should I react?

As women, we’re advised to be on full alert at all times. Don’t walk home alone, don't wear your earphones after dark, don’t take shortcuts, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and don't put yourself in a vulnerable position.

Like meerkats, we’re meant to be able to spot danger from 50 feet and do our utmost to avoid it.

And as a result, we often find ourselves wondering if we have internalised this narrative to such a degree that we over-think our reactions to certain situations.

Considering most women reading this will have emerged unscathed from a situation which initially appeared threatening, it's hardly surprising we might find ourselves wondering if our exposure to the lifelong narrative has rendered us hyper sensitive

All of us have, at times, ignored our gut instinct for a variety of reasons in an attempt to rationalise our way out of an argument with our inner selves.

Is every stranger who walks a little too close to us on a dark evening a potential attacker? Is this guy's behaviour a warning sign? Are these nerves a warranted intimation or an ingrained reaction?

Obviously, each situation is unique, but if you find yourself asking these questions, your gut instinct has already kicked in.

And while it may not always be right, it is incredibly strong, and always worth listening to.

 

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