There's a standard type of trailer that Hollywood studios make for horror and suspense movies: You get one glimpse of everything being fine, then in a flash you see all hell break loose as the protagonists try to find safety. The only thing left out is whether or not they succeed. Apparently, this is what Universal Studios wanted to do for Get Out. Luckily for viewers, writer-director Jordan Peele stood his ground and convinced them not to reveal one very important plot twist. (Spoiler alert, if you still haven't seen the movie since it came out in February.)
"I think there are all sorts of reasons why you might give away certain plot points to entice an audience,” Peele told Entertainment Weekly for a feature that dissects this particular scene in Get Out. "I had done so much work to protect that twist — we all had — that I would lay down on my sword for that twist."
The scene in question is when Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is searching with Rose (Allison Williams) for the keys to her car so they can escape the house. The trailer for the movie does show part of this scene: After experiencing a growing sense of dread of what goes on in Rose's hometown, we do learn that a series of young Black men have gone missing there. We also see that her parents can control everyone, including Chris, through hypnosis. But the trailer leaves us believing that Rose is naive to the sinister goings-on in the house.
At the beginning of this scene, though Chris has seen photos of Rose's other Black boyfriends, he's still doubting her role in the plot. Then she pulls out the keys and says, "You know I can’t give you the keys, right babe?”
Producer Jason Blum told The Hollywood Reporter that he and the studio originally wanted to show Williams dangling the keys. This would have ruined Peele's whole setup.
"Allison and I knew that if we played the movie right that would be a huge moment and it would be the moment where we meet the real Rose for the first time," Peele told EW. "And I think that’s what’s so chilling about her performance is that the real Rose in the matter of a line communicates that she has no remorse, has no love for this person, and even with the way she sort of waves at him and says, ‘babe,’ that there is a disdain for this character she’s been sleeping with and pretending to be in love with."
Peele wanted Get Out to succeed through word-of-mouth, with fans refusing to spoil the plot for their friends as they urged them to see the movie. If he hadn't convinced Universal of this plan, who knows if all these months later we would still be talking about it as one of the best films of the year?