Jordan Peele’s comedy-horror hybrid Get Out has struck a raw nerve with US moviegoers. Made on a slim budget of $4.5m, the film took in $33.3m on its opening weekend in late February, charging to the top of the box-office charts and making Peele the first black director to have a debut movie earn $100m.
At a time when unabashed racism is rearing its head in various grotesque shapes – from “alt-right” trolls to the KKK’s fanatical support of Donald Trump’s discriminatory proclamations and executive orders – its success suggests that audiences are hungry for more nuanced explorations of the complex depths of racial prejudice.
Its star, Daniel Kaluuya, is keen for more, too. “It speaks to all the subconscious stuff that I’ve felt, growing up as a black man in the industry,” he says of his breakout film. He talks in a rapid, north London baritone down the line from Atlanta, where he’s currently shooting Marvel’s forthcoming The Black Panther. “It’s not overt. The narratives we usually see within the boundaries of television or film are extreme racism. People [think] racism is something you do as opposed to something you believe, like: ‘I’m going to go out of my way and be racist.’