Jordon Peele is a maverick; there’s no denying it. As one half of the American comedy duo Key and Peele, he made his first strides in popular culture before truly flourishing as a celebrated filmmaker. His directorial debut, 2017’s Get Out, was a critical and commercial success, and its blend of horror/comedy with themes of racism and politics was hailed as a refreshing new approach.
His 2019 follow-up, Us, received the same critical acclaimed upon release. Its existential discussions of the human and American experience were again a challenging and refreshing blast of cool within the world of horror. Peele seems to have a knack for appealing to the very worst sides of the human condition in his writing, something that makes his narratives all the more terrifying.
His characters are evil, distorted takes on humanity, with his style more in keeping with Kubrick’s version of The Shining rather than the out-and-out horror of, say, Rec. Like any genius in their respective field, Peele is a true student of film. Unsurprisingly, he has a penchant for the darker types of cinema and has at many points discussed his favourite movies of all time. On different occasions, he has discussed the psychological horror of Roman Polanski’s 1968 outing Rosemary’s Baby, Wes Craven’s slasher Scream, and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rear Window.
Like with any great auteur, be it Quentin Tarantino or Stanley Kubrick, he expertly meshes all of his influences together to create an artistic vision that is not only totally unique but one that is also fit for the modern era. Peele’s works are some of the most identifiable out there at the moment, and it is sure that he will eventually become known as one of the modern greats.
Peele is one of those rare, enthralling types that you could sit and listen to all day, talking about anything. Given that he is, to all intents and purposes, a film geek, in 2019, Peele fans were lucky enough to be treated to an interview he gave in the Wall Street Journal. During the conversation, he discussed everything from B-movies to the first horror movie he witnessed – and even his favourite horror movie performance.
Peele also left fans gasping when he revealed who he thinks is the scariest movie villain of all time. This was none other than Michael Myers, the masked assailant of the fictional town of Haddonfield. The primary antagonist of the iconic Halloween series, Myers is often cited as one of the scariest horror movie villains of all time, and for good reason.
Peele gave a typically humorous and balanced account of why he thinks Myers pips the likes of Freddie Krueger and Pennywise to the top spot.
He said: “Michael Myers. He’s not even evil; he’s just curious. You know you can’t talk him out of whatever he wants to do. He always does that thing where he’d stab somebody and turn his head – which is the international symbol for ‘fascinating’.”
A brilliant take on a brilliant character, Peele has us wondering what other dastardly villains he has in store for us in the not too distant future.
Watch the interview below.