Get Out is a smart, satisfying horror comedy from director Jordan Peele that drew massive audiences on opening weekend, but anybody who’s seen the movie (or any horror movie) will question the science a bit. While how it’s happening isn’t nearly as important as why it’s happening, it’s normal for any horror movie to have at least one WTF moment or explanation that doesn’t add up. None of this should have spoiled the movie for you, but if you haven’t seen it, please note there are spoilers ahead.
The story’s nucleus is delivered by Jim Hudson, a blind art dealer played by Stephen Root, to Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), the film’s protagonist. There are three phases Root describes from his hospital bed — beamed to a TV in a basement where Washington is being held hostage — that come with what’s about to happen. The explanation is a fulcrum for the entire plot.
Essentially, a hypnotized patient — in this case, Washington, lulled by the sound of a tea spoon — is strapped to an operating table alongside another operating table, on which rests Hudson’s aged body. Washington’s brain will be removed and in its place will go Hudson’s brain, who earlier in the film won at auction Washington’s body.
There’s a narrative wrinkle: A “sliver” of Washington will remain, though, as Hudson creepily explains.
“The piece of your brain connected to your nervous system needs to stay put to keep those intricate connections intact. “So you won’t be gone, not completely; a sliver of you will still be in there somewhere,” Hudson says. “Limited consciousness. You’ll be able to see and hear, but what your body is doing — your existence — will be as a passenger.”
Get Out is also a movie about race, specifically African Americans in the culture writ-large.
“Why us? Why black people?” Washington asks, to which Hudson replies, “Who knows? When people want to change, some people want to be stronger, faster, cooler — “black is in fashion” — but don’t lump me in with that. I could give a shit what color you are.”
“What I want is deeper,” he continues. “I want your eye, man. I want those things you see through,” Hudson says, recalling an earlier interaction where Root complimented Washington’s skills as a photographer.
The mad science of Get Out is familiar, terrifying, and a little fun.