Jordan Peele: 10 introductory horror films for newbies

Jordan Peele has always been a horror film connoisseur. Although he made his name in the world of humor, he is well-versed in things that go bump in the night. Who better to school one of the stars of his latest work, Us on the dark side?

Jordan Peele – Horror 101 Instructor

Everyone knows that Jordan Peele made his name in the world of comedy before transitioning into one of the top directors in the horror genre. Originally, he and his partner, Keegan-Michael Key started out on Mad TV together. Later, Comedy Central gave them their own show, Key & Peele.

The series ran from 2012 until 2015. Once it ended, Peele began writing what would become his landmark work, Get Out. Little did he know the impact his film would have not just on fans that love scary movies but on society itself.

Currently, the director is hard at work on his upcoming feature Us. According to Peele, the first trailer for the film will be released on Dec. 25.

Although what information we are getting on this film is limited, according to Entertainment Weekly, we get an idea of what the plot will center around courtesy of the director.

“For my second feature, I wanted to create a monster mythology. I wanted to do something that was more firmly in the horror genre but still held on to my love of movies that are twisted but fun.”

Lupita Nyong’o who stars in Us as Adelaide Wilson revealed in that same EW article that although she wanted to collaborate with Peele and was a big fan of Get Out, she had never worked on a horror film before.

Taking that as his cue, the director immediately sprung into instructor mode and provided Nyong’o with a list of his top 10 essential films in the genre. Let’s take a look at his choices.

Jordan Peele – The Short List

  • Dead Again – Who says horror and romance can’t be combined? A 1991 film from Kenneth Branagh, the Shakespeare whisperer himself. This is a personal favorite of mine. Branagh plays private detective, Mike Church who becomes involved with an amnesiac brilliantly portrayed by Kenneth’s then wife, Emma Thompson. As he is hired to discover her identity, he uncovers the fact that they shared a past life together that was less than idyllic…
  • The Shining – Timeless classic from master director Stanley Kubrick. Although Stephen King is not enamored with this version of his ghost story, horror fans continue to cite it as one of the best haunted house tales of all time.
  • The Babadook – Most viewers didn’t care for this particular lore at the time of its release in 2014. However, some valued its unique take on the proverbial boogey man mythos. Which makes this film particularly poignant considering Peele’s Us deals with monsters.
  • It Follows – This unique film centers around an unseen entity that is transmitted through sexual contact. The minute a teen couple gets down, death isn’t far behind. We never really find out what “It” is and that just makes this effort by David Robert Mitchell even scarier.
  • A Tale of Two Sisters -A Korean account of the paranormal focusing on two siblings who return home to recover from seeking treatment at a mental health facility. Not only do they have to struggle with their personal issues but they also have to deal with a specter. Good times.
  • The Birds– Hitchcock, enough said.
  • Funny Games -This is director Michael Haneke’s original 1997 film (not his 2007 remake) about a couple who is terrorized by two random teenagers. What ensues is a chilling life or death cat and mouse game. Trust me, after viewing this effort you will wonder what you spent the last two hours watching…
  • Martyrs– Pascal Laugier’s 2008 film is highly graphic and disturbing. Lucie seeks revenge on the people that abducted her and tortured her as a child. Let’s just say after viewing this production, you will acquire an entirely new meaning of the word, “transcendence.”
  • Let the Right One In – Oddly enough, this is a touching story about an outcast boy who is befriended by a vampire who acts as his champion. Sort of like a blood sucking version of the 80’s film,  My Bodyguard featuring Chris Makepeace.
  • The Sixth Sense – Perhaps one of the most intricate plot twists ever on film and it launched the career of M. Night Shyamalan. We all know the story and the catchphrase, “I see dead people.”
Next: Greg Kinnear jumps onboard Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone

This was definitely an eclectic list from Peele. Not only an introduction to the horror genre for Lupita Nyong’o but a glimpse into the mind of one of the talented directors in the horror genre.

Look for Us to hit theaters on Mar. 15, 2019.

What do you think of Jordan Peele’s list? Feel free to share your comments in the section below. We want to hear from you.          

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