I can’t pretend to have caught all of Jordan Peele’s allusions in this horror film, but I am fairly certain that even younger, hipper culture junkies may not be successful either. Whatever intention the writer/producer/director may have had has gotten buried or obfuscated by an overly complicated plot that includes dopplegangers, flashbacks, prophetic warnings, subterranean caverns and overhead shots of an overly symbolic Hands Across America demonstration
There are no guns in this movie about an apocalyptic America, but as I watched the increasingly disturbing scenes of mano a mano murders with giant scissors, I thought about the current uptick in slashing incidents on sidewalks, in subways, in gang fights and among teenagers at school. I thought about the vile language in the rap music of this film and in the dialogue of its protagonists. I wondered how it is that many college students who require trigger warnings for reading Huckleberry Finn as well as grief and bigotry counselors on campus are perfectly capable of watching this very violent film, helping to make it the number one box office hit in the country. And I also wondered how grown professional women who become distressed at inappropriate comments made by a man in his late seventies who never touches or threatens them, can possibly sit in a movie theater for 2 hrs barraged and assaulted by this most violent and popular film.
My thoughts were much stranger than the filmmaker’s creation - a cinematic attempt to top Get Out with a film that has so many inscrutable references and loose ends that we simply check our watches and tune out.
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