Top 5 Reasons Jordan Peele Horror Films Are So Unique
Here are the top five reasons Jordan Peele horror films are so unique. Beware of spoilers from this point on.
Get Out, one of the most talked about movies of that year, was released in 2017. It was actor and producer, Jordan Peele directorial debut and though fans of Peele knew him from his hit sketch comedy show Key and Peele, the fact that he was releasing a horror movie seemed out of the blue. Audiences had no idea what to expect from the comic who had starred in classic sketches like Substitute Teacher and Flicker.
But on release day, the reviews poured in and it received the coveted and near perfect score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics and audiences were raving—it was actually good. Brilliant even.
Since then, Peele has made quite a name for himself as one of the most exciting names in Hollywood. His next film, Us, garnered just as much excitement and buzz, labeling him a true horror film game changer.
Peele’s films are unlike anything in the horror genre right now. Entertaining, hilarious, and embedded with messages we can all learn from—Peele is changing what makes a modern horror classic great, one film at a time.
Jordan Peele Horror Films – Untapped Demographic in Mainstream Horror
Both of his films have featured casts made up primarily of African American actors. This is not to say this has never been done before, but Jordan Peele has gone above and beyond in giving a voice to a minority of people hardly represented—accurately or favorably—in the horror genre.
In Peele’s film Get Out, our hero is played by British actor Danial Kaluuya. Kaluuya’s performance went on to win him the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Acting in a Motion Picture that year. It was an award well earned and deserved.
Kaluuya doesn’t play some over dramatized caricature on screen. He isn’t just on screen for a measly ten minutes before he is killed off violently. He actually survives after fighting for his life and makes it to the end of the film.
Jordan Peele Horror Films – Twilight Zone Worthy Twists
It’s fitting that Peele is now currently hosting the new Twilight Zone revamp. In the same vein as a number of Twilight Zone episodes, his films often feature one great unsuspected twist in the third and final act.
It throws an entire wrench into the story, and we don’t know who or what to believe. It leaves us on the edge of our seats until the credits roll. This is the kind of suspense and storytelling viewers pay to see in theatres. We love original storylines. And we love surprises.
Us for example, isn’t just a tired and gory slasher/home invasion film. It’s a film about classism—with an underlying theme of nature versus nurture. But that isn’t revealed until the last twenty minutes of the film.
And Get Out isn’t just about a young man going to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. We learn after after the second act that it’s actually a film that deals with themes of modern racism and the perils and abusive history of slavery.
Jordan Peele Horror Films – Music
Many horror movies play with diegetic and nondiegetic music and sound to amp up the fear factor. Jaws did it—and now those few notes have gone down in film and music history as being the most daunting monster introduction.
Jordan Peele did something notably similar in his film Us, with the 1990s hip hop hit, I Got 5 On It. Who would have thought that the song—which is not originally terrifying in the slightest—would carry a much different connotation after being remixed and added to one of the most chilling parts of the entire film—the confrontation between Red and Adelaide.
Perfectly Timed Humor
Horror and humor can live in harmony. If blended correctly.
After writing and starring in his own show on Comedy Central alongside his co-star Keegan Michael Key, it’s safe to say this retired funnyman still knows a thing or two about comedy. And it shows in his horror films.
The comedic relief is always well timed and adds to his unique style of filmmaking. In Get Out, Rod Williams offers something most horror movies lack. A voice of reason we can agree with.
Horror Movies for Horror and Non-Horror Fans
His horror films tease the mind. But instead of leaving the theater—with images of senseless gore burned into our brains—his films give us new and alternative perspectives.
Because they are so dimensional, these films aren’t just for fans of the genre. He offers something everyone can enjoy, from the unique cinematography, to the heart racing suspense.
They are also great films to break down and analyze—you’ll find yourself watching these films over and over again to catch what you missed the first time. These aren’t just scary movies for horror film fanatics. But fans of film in general.