Deleted scenes have always fascinated me. Some are totally useless, while others would’ve made for interesting additions. We focus on the latter in Deleted Screams.
You’ll find few movies with a more satisfying final act than Jordan Peele’s Get Out, wherein protagonist Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) manages to escape the nightmare situation he’s found himself in by triumphantly killing all the bad guys and putting an end to the devious operation at the center of the film. And Peele keeps things satisfying right up until the very end.
With ex-girlfriend Rose dying in the middle of the road, Chris standing over her, a cop car pulls up. Like me, you were probably thinking Chris was about to get either shot or arrested. But instead, his friend Rod emerged from the car, allowing us all to breathe a big ole sigh of relief. Peele designed the film to elicit that response, but it wasn’t always the direction he planned on going in.
The original ending to Get Out was a whole lot less comforting.
That alternate ending, which was shot and can be found on the upcoming DVD & Blu-ray (May 23) brought the film to a close much the way we all expected it to. Rose is dying in the middle of the road and Chris is standing over her. A cop car pulls up. But instead of Rod getting out, two cops emerge. They arrest Chris and haul him off to jail, where Chris has a conversation with a visiting Rod. He’s defeated and it’s plainly evident on his face. He knows he’s never going to escape. After all, he’s a black man who just killed a whole bunch of wealthy white folks.
“I’m good,” he tells Rod. “I stopped it.”
A downer of an ending, to say the least, and that’s why Peele ultimately decided to change it. He explained the decision to the podcast Another Round earlier this year:
In the beginning when I was first making this movie the idea was, ‘OK, we’re in this post-racial world, apparently.’ That was the whole idea. People were saying, ‘We’ve got Obama so racism is over, let’s not talk about it.’ That’s what the movie was meant to address. Like look, you recognize this interaction. These are all clues, if you don’t already know, that racism isn’t over. So the ending in that era was meant to say, look, ‘You think race isn’t an issue? Well at the end, we all know this is how this movie would end right here.’
It was very clear that the ending needed to transform into something that gives us a hero, that gives us an escape, gives us a positive feeling when we leave this movie. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the audience go crazy when Rod shows up.
The standing ovations at theaters across the country when Rod showed up to save the day suggest that Peele chose the right ending (and it is indeed an incredibly satisfying one), but I just can’t help but feel that the original, darker ending was much more appropriate for the material. Putting that button of white cops arresting and locking up our black hero onto the end of Get Out really would’ve driven home the entire theme of the movie and left us all feeling as depressed, frustrated and infuriated as the movie probably should’ve made us.
To end the film on that note, in my personal opinion, would’ve made the entire movie that much more powerful and resonant.
You can watch the Get Out alternate ending over on YouTube.