Jordan Peele’s 8 Favorite Horror Movies Of All Time


Jordan Peele has established himself as one of the most innovative filmmakers in the horror scene, and his third feature film nope is now out in cinemas worldwide. While the actual plot is vague in order to maintain the suspense of it, it’s clear from the trailer that the movie will count on Peele’s traditional horror elements, while leaning on sci-fi as well.

Back when he was releasing his latest movie us, Jordan Peele was part of a dynamic tournament in which he picked his favorite horror films of all time, as seen here on YouTube. While the full list has 16 movies, only half of them make it to the final stages, where Peele talks about how much these movies mean to him and how they influenced his own projects.

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Halloween (1978)


Directed by John Carpenter, one of the most prominent horror directors of all time, Halloween wasn’t responsible only for one of the most successful franchises but also for establishing conventions of the slasher subgenre that are still used today, the villain as a constant threat, lurking in the shadows, imposing fear even when he’s not really there.

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According to Peele, Halloween is “elegant and terrifying”, offering a very subtle horror that influenced a bunch of contemporary slashers. He mentions how Michael Myers is sometimes a hit-or-miss in some scenes, stalking his victims from afar and waiting for the right moment to act.


Let The Right One In (2008)


Let The Right One In is a must-see lesser-known horror film, presenting an unconventional vampire story deeply sensitive and intimate. Amid all the bloodshed and dark secrets, the movie addresses each character’s feelings in a faithful way, drawing viewers close to the narrative for an unforgettable payoff.

Peele calls Let The Right One In “one of the most beautiful horror movies of all time” and points out how the iconic massacre at the poolside is one of the best shots in horror history. The Norwegian movie follows two teenage loners who find comfort in each other, one of them is constantly bullied at school, while the other harbors a terrifying secret.


The Babadook (2014)


reading a far less sinister book in The Babadook.

Described by Jordan Peele as “a movie about something different than it was about”, The Babadook manages to scare viewers with creepy supernatural elements as well as vital aspects of the human condition such as grief, depression, and trauma. Following the death of her husband, a single mother struggles to deal with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, a mysterious entity called the Babadook.

Even with the concept of a sinister presence taking hold of the protagonists, The Babadook‘s domestic horror terrifies viewers the most when it’s grounded in reality. With flawed characters as human as anyone, viewers can’t help but cheer for them, even though sometimes even get scared of them.


It Follows (2014)


The Giant Man closing in on a target in It Follows.

One of the most original horror movies of the past decade, It Follows introduces a scary villain never seen before, a mysterious entity that passes from victim to victim through sex, taking different shapes and tirelessly creeping towards the recipient of the curse, ultimately killing them and going after the former recipient.

With an atmosphere of constant despair, a group of friends tries every possible way to get rid of the fatal curse that threatens one of them, but the entity never gives up and always finds a way to catch up. Influencing a wave of atmospheric horror movies, It Follows’ horror comes primarily from the anticipation of fear rather than the actual face-off between hunter and prey, offering an unstoppable evil force that lives up even after the story is seemingly finished.


Under The Skin


According to Peele, Under The Skin “has one of those aesthetics, as a filmmaker, you’re like ‘how did Jonathan Glazer even do that’.” With a distinguishable cinematography and a haunting score, the movie follows a seductive alien unleashed across the streets of Glasgow, preying on unsuspecting men who fall under her spell.

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Tying themes such as seduction, empathy, and fear to a consistent cosmic horror story, Under The Skin is an effective psychological horror that causes fear through coldness, indifference, and most importantly, the absolute unknown. Scarlett Johansson kills it in her weirdest role, playing the mysterious figure that drives the narrative with her.

Jaws (1975)


Jaws headed toward a swimmer on the movie poster.

When talking about Jaws, Peele states, “it’s arguably the greatest movie of any genre.” Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jaws was the first movie to introduce sharks as terrifying horror villains, establishing itself as a masterpiece when it comes to building up tension and creating suspense, while a great white shark attacks helpless swimmers on the beachside.

A group of specialists team up to take down the almost-mythical creature, as the shark shows itself to be a much more powerful threat than they could ever anticipate. Jaws is iconic from beginning to end, with an unforgettable score that keeps the suspense going and one of the best face-offs between human and animal ever put onscreen.

The Shining (1980)


Jack breaks the door with an ax in The Shining.

There are two incredibly talented minds behind The Shining, which makes it such an iconic movie. These are Stephen King, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, and Stanley Kubrick, who directed timeless masterpieces such as A Clockwork Orange and 2011: A Space Odyssey.

The Shinning, as Jordan Peele describes, has his favorite shot in all of horror, which is Shelly Duvall running with the knife outside the snow-covered Overlook Hotel. Apart from this shot, the movie counts on plenty of other memorable scenes that terrify viewers to this day, such as the twin sisters’ ghost and an insane Jack Nicholson saying “here’s Johnny” as he rushes after his wife.


A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)


Jordan Peele’s pick for the greatest horror movie of all time is the 80s classic A Nightmare On Elm Street, mentioned by him as “probably the best design of any horror movie”, mostly because Freddy Krueger is a special kind of boogieman. He’s a terrifying entity with creative, original mythology. He was once an evil man, but now evil is all that’s left. For this reason, Peele also calls Freddy “the greatest horror villain of all time.”

years before scream, Wes Craven introduced viewers to a teenager tangled up between reality and dreams after she uncovers Freddy Krueger, the evil spirit who chases people in their dreams and kills them, ultimately causing their death in real life as well. As the characters fight against their body to stay awake, Kruegers waits eagerly for his victims to fall asleep.

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