Get Out! (of the White House): Horror Parody and Social Commentary in the Age of Trump

E. James West

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Less than two months into the presidency of Donald Trump, popular comedy website Funny or Die released a parody trailer for the highly acclaimed 2017 horror film Get Out. While the basic plot remained the same – a white woman introducing her black partner to her parents for the first time – the setup was provided with “one crucial, stomach-churning twist.” The sinister Armitage clan who served as the antagonists in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut had been replaced by the Trump family. News and entertainment outlets such as Slate quickly voiced their support, noting that “it’s more than a little scary how perfectly Ivanka, Melania, Donald, Jr. and co. fit into the movies roles.” Get Out (of the White House) was among a wave of parody horror trailers featuring Trump to be created in the aftermath of his victory in the 2016 presidential campaign. While many of these videos provided little more than ad hominem attacks, the best offered incisive social commentary as well as an effective critique of Trump’s rise to power. This chapter explores the impact of Get Out (of the White House), situating such trailers within the history of the horror parody delineated by scholars such as Tony Magistrale and William Paul. Furthermore, it argues that the trailer’s popularity can be understood as part of a broader trend by comedians, protestors, and political commenters to utilise horror parody as a way of both critiquing and resisting the Trump presidency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMake America Hate Again
Subtitle of host publicationTrump-Era Horror & the Politics of Fear
EditorsVictoria McCollum
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter11
Pages152-163
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351016513
ISBN (Print)9781138498280
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameThe Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture
PublisherRoutledge

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