‘Get Out’ turns 1: Sink into the horror film’s unexpected journey from blockbuster to Oscars

One year ago today “Get Out” debuted in theaters and instantly sunk into the cultural zeitgeist. Jordan Peele‘s horror satire, which offers a wholly new approach to race in America, not only wowed audiences at the box office but also captivated film critics. After scoring a rare 99% at Rotten Tomatoes, some in the industry began to whisper about the film’s Oscar chances. However, the Academy Awards were over a year away at that point (“Get Out” was released February 24, 2017, making it eligible for the March 4, 2018 Oscar ceremony), so surely we’d all forget about it as more academy-friendly films began entering the conversation, right? Boy were we wrong.

When the Oscar nominations were announced, “Get Out” had the last laugh by scoring a total of four bids: Best Picture, Best Director for Peele, Best Original Screenplay for Peele, and Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya. If “Get Out” ends up going all the way at the Oscars, it’ll be the first time a horror flick won Best Picture since Hannibal Lecter ate a liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti 26 years ago for “The Silence of the Lambs.”

The star-studded (and SAG-nominated) cast of “Get Out” is led by relative unknown British star Kaluuya, who in the past year has become a household name. Kaluuya plays main character Chris Washington in the film, a black man who finds himself in all kinds of trouble after meeting his white girlfriend’s family. Not only did he earn Best Actor bids at the Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards, but he also just won the Rising Star award at BAFTA.

SEE 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

“Get Out” was one of the highest-grossing blockbusters of 2017, raking in $176 million at the U.S. box office and $255 million worldwide. Not too shabby for a movie with a reported production budget of only $4.5 million. Last week film studio Universal offered free President’s Day screenings of “Get Out” in a savvy move that coincided with the beginning of Oscar voting.

Besides “Get Out” and “Silence of the Lambs,” two other horror films were able to scare up Oscar nominations in recent years: six-time nominee “The Sixth Sense” (1999), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and five-time contender “Black Swan” (2010), directed by Darren Aronofsky. “The Sixth Sense” went home empty-handed while “Black Swan” claimed the Best Actress trophy for Natalie Portman. How will “Get Out” fare at the 2018 Oscars as it celebrates its first birthday?

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