Sam Hadley's Horrifying History Lesson with 'Get Out'
Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (2017) released scarcely more than two weeks ago and it’s already proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Having already made 18 times its budget, the horror film is luring audiences of all stripes into theater seats despite tackling an unexpected issue: race. The most notable horror film to take on racism was “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), and the conversation has largely gone untouched since then until Peele’s new film. But the conversation has been restarted in a bracingly intelligent way, and Time Out New York invited Peele and star Allison Williams to discuss the implications and potential impacts of the film. Sam Hadley was brought on board to create a companion illustration for the piece that brought Peele and Williams together in a classic representation of horror tropes.
Jordan Peele doesn’t appear in “Get Out,” himself so rather than presenting an image from the movie, Sam created a poster for an imagined story. “Wicked Smart” is emblazoned across the top of the image, acting as a title for the duo, while also commenting on the consideration and balancing act that went into creating a contemporary horror film that dissects the complexities of contemporary racism. Sam has Peele and Williams braced together looking out of frame with terrified looks on their face peering into the darkness. The one source of light comes from a blazing candle in Peele’s hand. At once Sam’s image recalls 1950s horror and sci-fi film posters and pulp book covers, as well as Scooby Doo and The Hardy Boys. This is a tradition that reaches far beyond even full representation of black Americans in popular culture. Sam’s image at once lampoons the exclusive nature of the form, while inviting the beginning of a new generation.
This is the way we’re used to seeing horror stories from the very beginning. We can maintain that tradition if we’re willing to open it up, which is exactly what Sam is doing with this illustration and Peele is doing with his blockbuster.