Song of the Day #4,219: ‘Run Rabbit Run’ – Flanagan & Allen

Best Movies of the 2010s
#8 – Get Out (2017)

Jordan Peele’s Get Out is one of two directorial debuts in my top ten. Peele displayed such an expert command of the medium right out of the gate. I imagine he picked up a lot of these instincts on the set of Key & Peele (where he was a writer but not a director), because that show often toed the same line of comedy and surreal horror.

Get Out uses a clever, twisty body horror premise as a metaphor for the fear and uneasiness that comes with being Black in America. From its opening shot of a young Black man (LaKeith Stanfield) walking nervously through an affluent white neighborhood, to every scene of protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) navigating his girlfriend’s family, the film forces you to understand what it’s like to be uncomfortable in your own (dark) skin.

That’s what it does for a white guy like me, anyway. Black audiences, I’m sure, were thrilled to see their everyday experience turned into gripping, cathartic adventure. Finally, a horror movie where the Black guy isn’t the first to die but instead the last man standing.

Peele smartly avoids easy right-wing racist stereotypes in crafting his villains, instead focusing on white liberals who “would’ve voted for Obama a third time” and secretly wish they were Black. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are brilliant as the parents who go from awkwardly well-meaning to cruelly predatory. You totally buy that Chris doesn’t try to get the hell out of there because you realize he must deal with people like this all the time.

Peele serves up some indelible images and concepts, from the wide-eyed tearful gazes of Chris and the family maid to a groundskeeper whose late-night sprint has him running straight at the camera. The movie launched a thousand memes, the most indelible being the concept of the Sunken Place, a rich metaphor for the way people of color have to hide within themselves in certain company.

It’s a metaphor for plenty of other things as well. As Peele himself tweeted, “we’re all in the Sunken Place,” victims of a system that is designed to marginalize.

Social commentary and symbolic meaning aside, Get Out works great as a flat-out thriller, with slowly building tension and a gonzo explosion of violence at its climax.

This film also had one of the very best endings of the decade. After Chris has vanquished his enemies and sits on the street next to the bloodied body of his white girlfriend, police lights fill the screen. At that moment, given the country we live in, you know without a doubt he is about to be shot and killed by the cops. It’s a heart-wrenching realization, and such a cruelly ironic twist. It is the perfect ending to a brutal, depressing movie.

But then a car door opens, and you realize the siren belongs not to a cop but to Chris’ friend who works at the TSA. And it becomes the perfect ending to a tough but wildly fun movie instead.

The mostly Black crowd in my theater erupted into cheers at that ending, and in February of 2017, it was the first time I felt good since the previous November’s election.

On the farm, ev’ry Friday
On the farm, it’s rabbit pie day
So ev’ry Friday that ever comes along
I get up early and sing this little song

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Bang, bang, bang, bang goes the farmer’s gun
Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run, run

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Don’t give the farmer his fun, fun, fun
He’ll get by without his rabbit pie
So run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Bang, bang, bang, bang goes the farmer’s gun
Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run, run

Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run
Don’t give the farmer his fun, fun, fun
He’ll get by without his rabbit pie
So run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,219: ‘Run Rabbit Run’ – Flanagan & Allen

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Great review for a great film. I’m totally with you on this one!

  2. Peg says:

    Me too! Loved this movie and enjoyed today’s analysis

  3. Amy says:

    The last line of your post is so on point. Much like Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, while this piece of entertainment would have been amazingly good and resonated with audiences whenever it was released, having it hit the theaters when it did just made it that much more exhilarating. And, yes, the ending is one of the best not only of the decade but of all time. Love, love, love this film.

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