Soylent Green is people. Bruce Willis was dead the whole time. Keyser Soze is Kevin Spacey. Major twists can make a movie go from good to great. But what happens if you go into a movie already knowing the twist? Is it possible to still enjoy the movie, despite knowing what’s going to happen?
SPOILERS FOR GET OUT AHEAD
Scanning Twitter a couple weeks ago, I came across a headline saying something to the effect that Allison Williams was playing a horrifying kind of villain in the new 100% Fresh Jordan Peele flick Get Out. I didn’t click onto the article as I was planning on seeing the film and didn’t want to learn more about it than I already knew. With this headline, I put together what I had seen in the traiIer and figured that Allison Williams, along with her creepy parents were some sort of weird cult that hunted black people.
Turns out… that is true. But we don’t learn that until about three-quarters of the way through the movie. Because Allison Williams is actually presented as the “good guy” and her reveal as “villain” is the twist. So when I started watching the movie and she was presenting so well, I assumed I must have it wrong. But as the movie went on, I couldn’t stop thinking about that headline. Why would they have said she was a villain if she wasn’t? Did I misread it? I found that I was focusing less on what was happening and just letting it happen, and only focusing on when this reveal would happen.
Luckily there were some bits in the film that were GENUINELY shocking (i.e. the grandma/grandpa reveal and the TS-motherfuckin’-A finale) but I felt robbed of the full effect of the film. I didn't get to feel the shock that the rippled through the rest of the theatre when we find out about Williams' character. All in all, I really enjoyed the film. But maybe I could have loved it without that seedling of a spoiler niggling in my head.
The question remains: even if you know if a twist is going to happen, can you still appreciate the twist as a good plot device? And I can. It was truly executed perfectly. Williams deflected any possibility of her involvement in her parents' devious plans in every instance... until she didn't. I never felt too many steps ahead of the film either, despite having the notion of what was coming up next.
But of course, Jordan Peele's film is truly masterful no matter what you know going into it. The perfect blend of horror and thriller, Get Out will withstand the test of time as it will remain relevant for a very long time (fortunately and unfortunately). For future reference though, if anyone has a way of selectively forgetting information, Eternal Sunshine-style, please let me know.