Why Get Out's Ghost Deer Sequence Wasn't In The Finished Film

If you watched the first trailer for Jordan Peele's Oscar-winning film, "Get Out," back in 2016, you may have jumped at the sight of a skeletal ghost deer at the end of it. It's one of those trailers that gives away much of the movie's plot — and also teases at least one scene that wasn't actually in the film when it hit theaters in 2017.

The ghost deer is featured in a deleted scene when Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) has entered the Sunken Place again, after trying to follow the movie title's advice and get the hell out of the house where fake-nice white bodysnatchers want to make him a receptacle for someone's brain. He's floating in the dark, flicking a lighter, and with each flick, we see a flash of the deer getting closer. It's the skeleton of the animal that his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), hit with her car, and just when you think it's gone, it comes back in over his other shoulder and roars in his face.

On the "Get Out" Blu-ray (via IGN), Peele explained why the deer only reared its antlers as a deleted scene:

"The deer, they used it in the trailer, and in full transparency I requested that they didn't, but they felt that it would help entice the audience, specifically the horror audience. It worked, so kudos to them. I knew some people would be disappointed when they don't see this deer, but I also kinda knew they wouldn't be disappointed because the main reason I cut this is because it didn't look good enough to me, and I knew I would have to put more money into it, VFX-wise, and it just didn't seem essential to tell the story, and it might be a losing battle."

The Arc of the Ghost Deer

Revisiting the first "Get Out" trailer years later, it's surprising to see just how much of the movie's third act it reveals. We see Rose's family, the Armitages, attack Chris and subdue him in scenes pulled from the last 35 minutes of the film. And of course, we see that unfulfilled promise of the ghost deer, which even gets its own mini arc from shock car impact, to highway roadkill, to framed portrait, to supernatural revenge terror — all in the span of two and a half minutes.

"Get Out" was a major critical and commercial success, scoring a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and earning $255 million worldwide on a budget on $4.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo. More importantly, the film was a crowd-pleaser, even though some moviegoers may have left the theater thinking, "I was promised a ghost deer! I demand a ghost deer!" That's probably why "Get Out" earned an A– Cinemascore instead of an A or A+, and we won't hear any other arguments on the matter.

Was the ghost deer false advertising? Did the trailer give too much away? You decide. Write your congressman a letter! (Don't really do that for something so silly.)

The best films are arguably rich enough aesthetically and thematically to be spoiler-proof, and that extends to "Get Out." If you're feeling charitable, it could even potentially include the kind of reverse spoiler that comes when a piece of movie marketing shows you something you'll never see.

As for Peele, he seems to have survived the missing ghost deer debacle with his dignity intact. With "Get Out," he became the first Black screenwriter to earn the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.