This Year Bleedingham Crew members will be in attendance at the 2017 Seattle Crypticon May 5-7th. It’s a big Year For Crypticon as George Romero will in on site and signing autographs. We will be lurking around as well so be sure to say hi!
Review by: Mandible Everdoom
I initially saw the trailer for Get Out by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame only two weeks prior to its release. From that moment on I’d been anticipating this film with bated discomfort and excitement. I already knew beforehand that I would likely be uncomfortable the entire time, but I was also interested to see how they would handle the topics that were obviously and inevitably going to be part of a social commentary.
The experience I didn’t expect to encounter was the constant sense of asphyxiation and nausea. I’m not a particularly claustrophobic person, and in fact the theatre didn’t have more than 20-30 viewers, so that certainly had nothing to do with the feeling of suffocation. Truly, it was the unusual awkwardness of the interactions filled with so many microaggressions that the main character, a black man named Chris, faced that drove the breathlessness I felt the entire film.
It seems pleasing that the first fearsome moment foreshadowing that terror is just around the corner is tied to the first microaggression committed by Chris’ beautiful, albeit white girlfriend, Rose. Shocked after hitting a deer, they call the cops for help and the officer asks to see both their IDs. Speaking on his behalf, Rose insists the officer doesn’t have to see Chris’ ID since he wasn’t the driver. While appearing innocent enough, the fact that Rose felt she knew how Chris was feeling in this situation caused her to inadvertently silence his voice, a practice common amongst advocates within discriminated groups.
Although Rose has already warned Chris that her family will likely say awkward things that obviously imply his skin color, (like “I would have voted Obama for a third term.”), Rose assures him that he will not experience any prejudice. As Mr. Armitage gives Chris the tour, it becomes clear the family has a long history of wealth illustrated through the prestigious careers which include Mrs. Armitage being a psychiatrist specializing in hypnotic therapy, Mr. Armitage being a neurosurgeon, and Mr. Armitage’s father being an Olympic contestant, losing only to black competitor Jesse Owens, something that he is enthusiastically proud of. Oh, and they can even afford a housekeeper, Georgina, and groundskeeper, Walter, who just so happen to be black. Thankfully, Mr. Armitage dispels any notion that this implies racism by assuring Chris that they were hired as caretakers for his late mother and father, and kept on because he couldn’t bear to fire them.
At this point, we should feel that outside of this home screaming white privilege, this home is a safe place for Chris with all the kindness anyone meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time could hope for. However, it is the continually odd behavior of the housekeeper and groundskeeper, varying between overly apologetic and kind to strangely aggressive that really hints at something sinister going on beneath the surface.
During the afternoon, Rose’s parents discuss the upcoming party taking place the next day to both Rose and Chris’ surprise. As Georgina is serving them refreshments she appears to space out, causing Mrs. Armitage to kindly demand she go lie down for some rest. This scene suggests the behavior in which even black allies can be oblivious to the social constructs or expectations they demand their counterparts to obey.
During dinner, Mr. Armitage notices Chris displaying ticks common with nicotine addiction, to which Chris notes he is trying to quit smoking. The family suggests he sit in with Mrs. Armitage who claims she can hypnotize his cravings away. Although he initially declines this offer, after sneaking outside for a cigarette, he sits in the study with Mrs. Armitage, who more or less works her magic.
As Chris shares his concerns with Rose, he also checks in occasionally with his best friend/dogsitter, Rod, who acts as the primary comic relief for this film. While Rose continues to support him, she tends to diminish his fears, whereas Rod makes jests that maybe the white folk wanna hypnotize him into being a sex slave. Even though it’s merely a joke, the film has no qualms about discussing the fetishization of black people based on stereotyped strength and prowess, all topics discussed with fervor amongst the very white (and one Japanese) guests at the party. While all the attendees are ridiculously kind to Chris, ultimately they treat him like a hunk of meat, measuring his muscles, asking Rose personal questions about his (ahem!) sexual performance, and his ability to play sports.
Perhaps, the most exhausting part of the film is the tightrope that the viewer must tiptoe across while trying to discern humor and horror, reality and paranoia. Because we know this is a horror film, we expect it to quickly turn dark and sinister with blood and violence aplenty, but perhaps that’s not the horror at all. What if what makes this movie a horror movie is the fact that we must face the reality that blacks experience on a daily basis, ranging from the disgusting amount of passive microaggressions veiled behind being an ally, or the fear of attracting the wrong attention by not cooperating, or being silenced because your opinion or experience isn’t actually valued?
As I mentioned earlier, the suffocation I felt throughout the film had me feeling nauseated by the way society handles itself in regards to black rights. However, Jordan Peele has done an incredible job of enforcing that the blame does not lie entirely on white people. Rather than demonize white people, Peele equally disperses the blame on the black and Latino cops who don’t believe Rod’s suspicions about his missing friend’s whereabouts, and even Chris himself who is so afraid of confrontation that he doesn’t speak up for himself or correct anyone for mistreating him.
Now that I’ve gained back my ability to breathe, I urge anyone who is uncertain about how they behave towards and around blacks (or any discriminated group for that matter) to see this film. Not because I want you to feel awful about yourself, but because I want you to question your own tactics. It is so easy to dismiss one’s own behavior or to pat one’s self on the back for being a black ally. Now I want you to know what it is like to be Chris, to be a black person in a very white society, as you watch this film. I want you to sink into your seat in desperation, gripping the edge of your chair as you try to predict what will happen next.
Based out of the Northwest, Miss Mandible works as a freelance graphic designer with a focus on horror. Her experience working with horror magazines and publication companies has given her many opportunities to analyze horror media and be a part of the horror community. She is a particular fan of psychological, alien, and supernatural horror films. Bleedingham is thankful to have Mandible as apart of the contributing staff.
SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2016 BLEEDINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL!
Welcome Horror Fans and Filmmakers! Submissions are now closed for Bleedingham V!
Since this is our fifth year, we have some delightful surprises in store! Be sure to check out our previous entries in the tabs above!
Grand Prize: $1000
Bleedingham V will take place on:
October 22nd at 9pm
and October 30th at 7:15pm
at The Pickford Film Center
Bleedingham: Interview with Alec Gillis
We bumped into Alec Gillis this year at Crypticon Seattle and he had some very inspiring words for those looking to make horror films!
Check it out!
Bleedingham: BTS “The Jogger”
We recently filmed our first promotional video of 2016, Randee Matthews was kind enough to make us a Behind-the-Scenes video showcasing some of the practical effects make up used in the shoot!
Check it out!
Here is our 2015 Official Selection!
Our First Promo Of 2015! What’s Brad doing in there?!
Bleedingham 2016 will be taking place at the Pickford Film Center.
Stay tuned to our website and social media for exciting developments for this year’s festival!
Some memories of Bleedingham’s past…
To set the tone for the event, we filmed this promo for you:)
Check out our 2nd Promo of 2014! Delicious!
Submissions are currently open for Bleedingham 2016!
Bleedingham Film Festival will be held at The Pickford Film Center.
See submission guidelines for more details or …
Submit your films, tell your friends and get ready to have a deviously delightful time!
Horror fans rejoice! Bleedingham is back!
and Like us on the Facebook!