(Image from the movie ‘Get Out’)
A lot of noise has been made about Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and here I am adding to that noise. But I am not going to get into the debate of how good or bad the movie was (because this movie has polarized people into both camps) and I am also not going to dissect the movie for its horror appeal. Instead, I am going to talk about just one thing, a purely cinematic input. Or, rather, something at the scriptwriting level.
Now I know I am taking a big leap here. Get Out has, after all, won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and that is the biggest certificate you can get for its merit. But when I watched it for the first time, I felt something amiss. I did not get what I wanted out of this much-recommended movie. The punch, for me, was missing. And this was despite the mid-movie twist. (I loved that reveal, by the way. Coagula, anyone?)
So, here follows my personal opinion. It’s a small tweak but it could have taken the movie to a different zone altogether. Again, this is just my opinion. Feel free to let me know your opinions on it. And I must say this now: major spoiler alert.
What Could Have Been Changed in Get Out? An Alternative Ending.
Let’s go to the second scene of the movie.
Chris and Rose are driving to Rose’s parents’ house. On the way, their car hits a deer. A white policeman then appears and we get the very first glimpse of racism when the policeman interrogates Chris. Rose intervenes and the case goes unreported.
After that, we don’t see the policeman again.
Let’s move on to the very last scene.
By now, we know all there is to know. We know how the Armitage family uses Rose as a lure to trap African-American men into the house, and how the brains of these hapless but physically superior men are then implanted with the brain cells of dying white people so that they can live on in their bodies. So far, pretty much everything is confined to the Armitage house. In short, if you somehow “get out” of the Armitage house, everything is fine.
And now here’s my little thought…
What if, in the very last scene, when Chris has almost killed Rose and he himself is half-dead and his friend’s car arrives to get him out of the house…
What if… in this scene the car is not of his friend, but of the white policeman from the first scene? What if… that white policeman ends up incapacitating or even killing Chris and saving Rose?
And then taking Chris into the house, he implants another white man’s brain into him, effectively making him the next victim of what the Armitages are doing. Of course, this means that the white policeman is in on this conspiracy; heck, he’s very much a part of it.
Which brings the shuddering thought — how many white people are there outside who are in on this conspiracy? What you thought till now was only happening in the Armitage house might be happening in dozens, scores, hundreds of other places.
Don’t black men go missing all the time, never to be found again? Makes one shudder to think if this is what is happening to them. They are living on in some palatial and secluded white family home, but not really living on their own lives, and, like Chris, they can never really “get out” now.
This Is How Get Out Would Have Changed
- It would have established that this conspiracy is not just limited to the Armitage household, but is much more wide-reaching. City-wide perhaps, even state-wide. And even the police are on it. The scope of the movie suddenly increases to immense proportions.
- The movie gets another huge twist. After the mid-movie twist, there is now a final twist as well. And if the first twist shocked you, this one makes you terrified.
- The movie turns as dark as it gets, and in the very last scene that too.
- Everything doesn’t get tied up in a neat package, which somehow does not befit the horror genre.
- You get out of the movie theater with the sick and lingering feeling that poor Chris (and hundreds of other “missing” black men) can never really get out.
The way I see it, that would have been a great way to end a movie such as this. Get Out would have taken a deeper meaning which would not be so literal any longer.
Knowing that how many drafts a movie undergoes, and specifically knowing how involved Blumhouse is with all its films, I can practically vouch that I am not alone in this thought. It must have occurred to the writers too, but then the bigger question is — why did they not go ahead with this ending and chose the prettily-tied-up-with-a-bow finish?
In any case, what do you think of this alternative ending? Do post your comments below and let me know.
The writer Neil D’Silva is an author and screenwriter. He has six books to his credit and he writes for TV shows, digital shows, and films. He works primarily in the horror genre.
Here is his Amazon page.