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The Subtle Connection You Never Noticed Between Get Out And H.P. Lovecraft

"Get Out" is one of the most audacious and well-received debuts by a writer-director in recent memory. Jordan Peele, who had until the film's release been known for his sketch comedy chops, won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the movie. Peele pitched the premise to a producer friend as "one you'll never want to make," according to Vulture. The producer not only liked the pitch — he bought it then and there. Peele wrote the script in two months, drawing inspiration from "The Stepford Wives," "Rosemary's Baby," and, if you notice this one small detail, perhaps H.P. Lovecraft.

"Get Out" tells the story of Chris Washington, a Black photographer going to meet his white girlfriend's family for the first time. They are not what they seem, and Chris finds himself having to fight off aggressions both micro and macro. His girlfriend's family, the Armitages, have a secret lab in their basement which they use for dark, sci-fi purposes. A redditor noticed that "Armitage" is also the name of the hero in H.P. Lovecraft's novella "The Dunwich Horror."

Cribbing from H.P. Lovecraft is an ironic choice

H.P. Lovecraft created the Cthulhu mythos and helped invent the "cosmic horror" genre that blends fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. He was also a virulent racist. "His bigotry and race-inflected narratives can't be wished away, cherry-picked, or swept under the rug in favor of his more widely known literary techniques and accomplishments," writes Wes House at Literary Hub. Works like "Get Out" and "Lovecraft Country" look at Lovecraft's body of work with eyes fully open. 

"The Dunwich Horror" is ostensibly about a cosmic horror trying to pierce the veil between our world and its, but it doesn't take a Vox explainer to also see a warning against race-mixing in there. A half-man, half-monster (born of the union between a white New England woman and the Old One Yog-Sothoth) feeds stray cattle to his twin brother that "looked more like the father," until they are both killed by the heroic librarian Henry Armitage. The fact that the villains of "Get Out" have the same last name as the hero of "The Dunwich Horror" underscores the fact that the Armitages don't think they're bad people. Bad people hardly ever do.