Get Out is a documentary, creator Jordan Peele half-jokes on Colbert


Jordan Peele calls his wildly successful horror-meets-social commentary film Get Out a historical biopic and comedy — and he’s not exactly wrong.

Think you know the difference between horror movies and documentaries? Jordan Peele disagrees.

Or at least that’s what the writer-director implied on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (with a hat-tip to The Hollywood Reporter).

It’s less of a joke than you think.

Peele once again responded to the controversial decision to submit his wildly successful horror film ‘Get Out’ for 2018 Golden Globe contention as a comedy. Heavy with social commentary on systemic racism, interracial relationships, and a metaphor for the prison industrial complex, fans were perplexed and even outraged.

“The movie is truth. The thing that resonated with people is truth,” he told Colbert. Perhaps in the spirit of his record-breaking dark comedy, he went on to joke, “For me, it’s more a historical biopic.”

The film isn’t without comedy, multitasking as comedic relief while satirizing racism so pervasive, even a garden party full of self-proclaimed progressives isn’t safe from the ridiculously uncomfortable situations many minorities dread.

According to Peele, that’s key to its complicated categorization:

"It doesn’t fit in genre. It sort of subverts the idea of genre. But it is the kind of movie that black people but white people, not so much."

On Twitter, some fans agreed that his atypical horror approach to a complicated subject like racism was a footnote to the movie’s message and that its humor did not diminish it either.

Golden Globe nominations have yet to be released, but it is safe to say the film has a better shot of walking home with a statue in the Musical/Comedy category. Fox employed a similar but equally contentious strategy when it submitted (and ultimately won for) The Martian as a comedy.

Peele later said Universal was behind the move and offered his own counterargument to the comedy classification while reiterating some of his comments on Colbert:

"What the movie is about is not funny. I’ve had many black people come up to me and say, ‘man, this is the movie we’ve been talking about for a while and you did it.’ That’s a very powerful thing. For that to be put in a smaller box than it deserves is where the controversy comes from…I think the issue here is that the movie subverts the idea of all genres.Call it what you want, but the movie is an expression of my truth, my experience, the experiences of a lot of black people, and minorities. Anyone who feels like the other. Any conversation that limits what it can be is putting it in a box."

Next: 20 socially conscious horror movies

Whatever the case, it’s clear that Peele’s documentary joke has more truth in it than we as a society might like — all the more reason to watch it.