When you apply a genre to a film you are trying to squeeze it into this box. The reason we sort films by genre is simply to help viewers decide what they want to watch.
Is “Get Out” a comedy? is it a drama?
One solid argument made upon the Golden Globe announcement was that director Jordan Peele considered the film a comedy. But does that matter?
Personally, I don’t believe that the artist should be telling the audience how to experience their film. Film, like all art, is subjective. If someone is able to take more from the dramatic aspects of, let’s say “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” then that’s their prerogative.
Apart from the usual genre classification. We have the annual “this box, or that box” award mess that is the Golden Globes.
Were you wrong by not laughing once during “Get Out” or “The Martian”? Absolutely not. You’re also not wrong if you were hysterical the whole duration.
Roger Ebert hated the “thumbs up, thumbs down” system because it simplified film criticism and took the art out of it. Same with giving out star ratings, grades, etc.
A film critic’s job is to analyze why a film made them feel the way it did. What worked, what didn’t work.
It’s easy, as an audience, to just feel. To explain or verbalize those feelings is more difficult.
It’s alright that “Get Out” is being labeled a comedy by the HFPA, and, in the end, this will make it more likely to take home some gold.
But don’t feel as if your interpretation was wrong. People call “Get Out” satire, but others may refer to it as political commentary. There is no right, and no wrong way to watch a film.