Get Out, undoubtedly one of the most talked-about movies of 2017, was lauded for its darkly comic approach to modern racism and unique spin on classic horror tropes. It ends (spoiler alert) with our main character Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) finally strangling his shotgun-wielding girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) in the middle of the road.
As this happens, we hear the whine of a police siren- and immediately we know that this scene of a black man strangling a white woman probably does not look good from the point of view of police officers. But in an incredibly satisfying turn of events, the driver of the police car is revealed to be Chris’s friend and guardian angel Rod (Lil Rel Howery), who happens to be a TSA agent.
In the alternate ending, the “fake-out” isn’t a fake-out. The sirens appear, and it is exactly who you feared it would be. Chris is arrested, and he has a solemn conversation with Rod on a prison phone.
Normally I’m all for scrapping the happy endings in lieu of realistic ones because I am a soulless robot, but Peele made the right choice by not using this ending. While it might have been a powerful punch in the gut to drive home the message of the film, I think he got the message across with the “fake-out”- presenting Chris’s arrest as an option without making it happen was subtle enough, and he didn’t sacrifice the fun tone of the film. The last 15 minutes of this movie is some of the most fun I think I’ve ever had in a crowded theatre, and the darker ending might have killed the vibe. Get Out is scary, but it’s not a downer. And while yes, this is a movie based in truth, it’s not grounded in reality enough to warrant such a bleak and depressing ending. Peele also wanted to offer some light at the end of the tunnel instead of slapping you in the face with reality- “I realized that the point of this movie no longer was to point out that racism exists. It needed to become about giving a hero, and a release, and an escape, and some joy, even through this uncomfortable, awful subject matter.”