8. Walter’s Midnight Run – Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele is undeniably a genius. His directorial debut, Get Out, is a rumination on benevolent racism. When Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) goes to meet his girlfriend Rose’s wealthy white parents, he quickly senses that all is not well on their impressive estat. Their household staff are all Black, and the Armitage family and their white friends repeatedly make disconcerting comments about Black people. So far, so creepy, but nothing overtly scary or unintentionally funny.
When Chris sneaks outside in the middle of the night for a cigarette, he’s startled by a bizarre encounter with Walter, the Armitage family’s groundskeeper. While lighting his cigarette, Walter appears sprinting full speed directly at Chris. It’s so sudden and unnerving that it’s quietly hilarious, especially as Walter turns at the last second and runs off without acknowledging Chris at all. The scene is topped off by Chris then immediately being startled by the housekeeper, Georgina, who admires her reflection in the window from inside (unaware of Chris’ presence).
It’s a small moment, but it’s so abrupt and unsettling that it actually becomes funny. The moment has since spread across the internet, without hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the bizarre hilarity of Walter’s midnight run. Of course, Jordan Peele is also well-known as a master of comedy, so perhaps there was something intentional in the moment all along.