The original ending to the horror-comedy masterpiece Get Out is an honest reflection of true-to-life events, but ultimately too dark to leave the audience with.
Get Out, which is applauded as much for its social commentary on racism as it is for its taut storytelling and direction, features a very satisfying conclusion for all the characters.
A Haunting End To Chris
In the final scenes of the movie, Daniel Kaluuya's Chris gets away with the murder of the Armitage family, just after stopping himself from strangling his girlfriend Rose. A police car approaches the carnage, but after a beat of fear for Chris, it ends up to be his friend Rod's TSA vehicle instead.
The original ending is much darker, though, with a realistic yet somber conclusion that has the protagonist incarcerated for the crime. Instead of Rod showing up in the thrilling end, it was the actual police who pulled up. With a glimpse of innocent Chris in handcuffs, likely to face the rest of his life behind bars, the events hit far too close to home.
"I'm good, I stopped them," a stone-faced Chris tells Rod when the TSA agent visits him in jail.
This ending, which producer Sean McKittrick calls the "sad truth" ending, was tested on an actual audience, who loved the movie but became visibly uncomfortable as the film wrapped with the bleak outcome.
While Kaluuya praises the new ending for staying honest, the Black Panther actor finds himself relating to the original as well.
"It was great because of what it said about life - there's this black guy who's really cool and went through this trauma, got through all this racism, and in fighting for himself he gets incarcerated," he says in an interview with Vulture. "That really resonated with me, because it showed me how unfair the system is."
A 'Victory' In The New Ending
Director and writer Jordan Peele, who earned countless of accolades for his first-time solo directing gig, opted instead for a more cathartic conclusion that leaves Chris a free man after escaping the clutches of the creepy Armitages.
"[The original] was a beautifully performed scene, a sad scene and very poignant and honest about what happens to so many people who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time," writer-director Jordan Peele explains to Los Angeles Times. "But I realized I had asked the audience to sit through so much tension and claustrophobia, and to deny them that victory, it didn't make sense."
Peele points out that moment that the audience believes a police car approaches — a moment where one can easily see how bad things could go for Chris as a black man who just killed an entire family — hints at the message he wanted to achieve with the original ending.
"The audience gets that whole original ending in that moment," he says. "That's more powerful than if I'd told them what happened."