Masters of Horror 2: Jordan Peele

So to briefly recap, The Masters of Horror is a series of articles I’m writing in which I drive into new and upcoming names in horror cinema, to hopefully inspire you the reader to check out these visionaries and their works. Said creators and directors are all bringing something new to the table with their specific creative visions; none more so embody this than today’s subject Jordan Peele. Peele rose to prominence as a comedian with his friend Keegan- Micheal Key; having proven his comedic genius over many years of performing, with Toy Story 4 and Keanu as proof. However, in 2017 it all changed Peele took a substantial left-field turn into horror, this, of course, was his film Get Out.
In the lead up to Get Outs release, many people were skeptical as to whether a horror film written and directed by a comedian could be good. Then the first trailer came out, and all the doubt turned into cautious anticipation. When Get Out released audiences realised just how misplaced their suspicions had been, being met with was a horror film that made you think. The horror wasn’t in jump scares; there were no demonic possessions or over-reliance on gore; instead, it focuses on a man going to meet his girlfriends family for the first time, a very personal and human fear. Admittedly this was no ordinary family; instead, a family obsessed with the ideas of racial superiority and a strange form of hypnotism, but hey it’s a horror film. The subtle racial tensions that coursed through the film’s veins added an extra layer of not only uncomfortability but also social commentary. Get Out was an unexpectedly massive hit with it becoming far more significant than anyone would have ever expected it to be. This significance mainly comes from Peele’s breed of horror, which focuses itself on themes of identity and races taking his horror cues from human nature and the inner darkness within us all. Much like the subject of part one Ari Aster, Peele likes his films to be ambiguous, for them to be able to be interpreted different ways by different people lending them more to debates and theory crafting. Peel’s second release US, a film with more of a conventional horror threat evil, killer doubles, shows this almost without question as the film poses many questions, who are the Teethered, why are they so hell-bent on murder, and what does the whole Hands Across America event have to do with the overall narrative? None of these questions have answers, and that is by design; with Peele most likely knowing that the answers he could provide are less satisfying than the ones in people’s heads; there is an intense horror in ambiguity after all. Peele is very keen to show us all that real fear can lurk below the surface, sometimes literally, and can come from even the most mundane of circumstance. In this current year of 2019, you can’t have a conversation about horror cinema without Peele’s name coming up, and that is an incredibly good thing, as his approach is undeniably fresh and novel. With a new Peele horror film releasing horror fans are feverish with excitement, and I believe that is because he, much like some of the other names on this list, can be trusted to provides us horror fans with a much-needed break from the same old possession or haunted house horror film. For his deep dive into what drives us not only as people but society through the means of horror, I think Jordan Peele is very deserving to be amongst the ranks of the Masters of Horror.

2 thoughts on “Masters of Horror 2: Jordan Peele

  1. I agree completely, your insight into Peele’s use of underlying racial tension is fascinating and completely relevant in our society. I agree that Peele’s horror and the issues raised are a microcosm of our own culture, this us something I would love to see more discussion about by other film reviewers.


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