The comedy/musical categories at the Golden Globes have long been the subject of eyerolls from cinematic purists, annoyed that studios occasionally use their wide boundaries to slip films that might not make the cut in the more competitive drama race—like Ridley Scott’s 2015 crowdpleaser The Martian—into an “easier” bracket of competition. Sometimes, though, comedy can be the only safe landing spot for a movie that intentionally defies genre boundaries, provoking laughs and queasy gasps from audiences in roughly equal measure.
Take Jordan Peele’s racial horror breakout Get Out. Between the slowly rising tension and the outright terror represented by The Sunken Place, Peele’s film is definitely more frightening than funny, despite the presence of any number of moments that successfully milk laughs of discomfort from the audience. But given its send-up of well-intentioned white people and cultural appropriation, it’s also one of the most biting satires produced in recent years, leaving it a land without a country come awards time. (Especially because none of the major shows acknowledge horror as a separate genre). So it’s not entirely bizarre to see Universal putting the film up as a comedy at this year’s Globes.
As pointed out by Entertainment Weekly, Get Out’s comedy status won’t just allow it to get at least some recognition in an awards field that’s yet to add “it’s scary, but also funny, but also scary, ya know?” to its list of acknowledged genres. It’ll also mean a potentially more fruitful awards season for star Daniel Kaluuya, who gave a great performance as a young black man who slowly realizes that his new girlfriend’s family, and their fetishistic “love” of his culture, can be just as toxic and dangerous as outright hate.
Nominations for this year’s Golden Globes come out next month, arriving on Monday, December 11.