I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
So, my sister took me to this, and I'm going to get pretty meta about this whole thing. I'm also going to put this all behind a page break: I can't talk about this in depth without spoiling it, so...
What I can say without spoilers is this is more of thriller than horror. There are scenes of violence, and even horrific moments, but the parts that make it truly amazing are the slow buildup and the small moments of feeling that something is awfully wrong without treading into horror territory. This has also been compared to The Stepford Wives but about race. Yes and no. By making this about race, rather than gender, it changes the dynamic. There are also enough that makes it different that simply comparing Get Out to The Stepford Wives is unfair to both movies.
This is a thoughtful movie that made me think, a lot, and while I don't usually come out of movies with immediate talking points that feel important, I had a whole bunch with this movie. While I probably won't see this again in the theater, I will see it again at some point. While I can't say race doesn't play a part, because this whole movie is about race, I don't like it for the point that 'black people are human, too, and think of it from their point of view, and these are some of the ways people are racist.' It's an important message, but it's not an immediate five star for me. I was seriously more creeped out at this movie than almost any that I could remember. My sister noticed me fidgeting and nervous, and gasping, at points, and reached over to hold my hand and whisper a spoiler to me that calmed me down. I told her I needed to hear that.
But the fact that this movie made me so jumpy is saying something: it was a damn good script, and a creepy movie. The acting was excellent, the direction was excellent, and the sounds - score, background noise, etc - added to all this for me.
Onto the spoilers
No, seriously, I'm immediately diving into the spoilers here.
The Coagula: it is a reference to insects as my sister suspects, or is about blood coagulating, alluding to the violence to come, the blood spilled to switch bodies, or as a reference to the actual surgery which is one of the many differences - and one that stuck out in my mind - between this movie and Stepford Wives?
This is really brutal on race relations. And it's right to be. I've read up a lot on this, and it's spot on, from the first scene which brings up concerns about young black men being assaulted in mostly white neighborhoods - Trayvon Martin, anyone? - to the ending in which the Magic Negro trope is reversed, and the black man saves... the other black man. (Leaving the shot, white woman bleeding in the street.) The "good" liberal, in fawning over black people, do no good, either. I believe that there should be a level playing field, and there is not. I try really hard not to eroticize, or fetishize, or even fawn over loving black celebrities - but I'm not sure I'm always able to do that in the last case. Still, this brings up a question - along with anxiety - for me as a white woman: do I fall into these same patterns? And this movie is only thoughtful and thought provoking if you allow it to be - that is, if you can examine your own ingrained racism. If not, it's going to be maddening, and feel accusatory. (I, by the way, did not feel this was accusatory: it wanted to point out the ingrained racism and make it a talking point. It also isolated Chris, the main character, in a place where the good liberals pat themselves on their back for being so open to black people in their homes, while also being racist in some of the worst ways. What this means is that he was dealing with a limited portion of the world. And while the rest of the world held it's own dangers - being assaulted for the color of your skin, and people not believing you* - it wasn't quite as grossly racist as these good, ol' white folk were in my opinion.) I can't quite explain why it didn't feel like an attack on all white people, without it making sense. It was the general feeling, though, that this was an exploration and talking point - and hopeful in the sense that it was trying to get people to be better about their own attitudes - and also the isolated group, some of whom were taught these behaviors. Outside of that isolated group, there isn't really a point where this movie points its finger at all white people. It should also be noted that, while I'm paraphrasing here, the writer/director, said that anytime you see color first, you lose some of the experience of what it is to be human. This seems to be in line with the movie, which is asking us to see people as people.
*Chris' best friend, Rod, is laughed at by three policemen - two black and one who didn't look white to me, but I honestly couldn't tell - partly because I was trying not to hyperventilate because I know they wouldn't believe Rod, and I knew what it meant for Chris. Then again, Rod's tale of hypnotized sex-slaves, told in a hysterical tone and patter, is played up for laughs: it sounds laughable, because it's meant to be. Rod is never meant to be believed, because he needs to be laughed at to give time for the other, the main, plot to get to where it's going. Also, please note that a comedic actor was chosen for this role, and the writer/director is well known for race-related comedy. The skit that my sister described to me was race-related satire. It's not a surprise to me that at least one actor comes from a comedy background, nor that the writer chose to use at least one comedic character. (Narratively a good move: when things get too tense, some funny lines can break up a claustrophobic sense of anxiety. More Than Meets the Eye, the comic series, and Lost Light, its follow up, do this all the time - to great effect.)
I've rambled, to the point where I lost where I was going. If I have more thoughts, I'll let you know, but I found this to be a skillful movie that I suspect will stay with me forever. And the main actor was Tealeaf on Psychoville - which I loved. I knew he seemed familiar!