Jordan Peele’s Favorite Scary Movies

It's never a bad time to enjoy a Jordan Peele film, especially in October. I recommend Us. But if you want to keep the fright train rolling all Halloween, hit up some of these flicks. Not only are they great works, they’re also some of Jordon Peele’s favorites. 

Let Me in

“One of the most beautiful horror movies of all time.” 

While the 2010 film is no slouch, it’s the 2008 Swedish adaptation that drew Peele’s praise. Based on John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel, it’s a quiet vampire movie, lovely and dreadful. The film follows a lonely boy named Oskar, as he befriends Eli, a child who seems about his age. To say anything else, might ruin the magic of the film. And Let Me In casts quite a spell.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

"It's iconic, it goes down with Alien for me, as probably the best design of any horror movie, in history.”

Horror villains may have peaked with Freddy Kruger, according to Peele. Wes Craven’s iconic film opens with his stalking, menacing figure. A character wakes up and comforts herself with the knowledge that he’s just a dream. Then dead teens start piling up, and our protagonist, Nancy, is forced to confront an awful truth—she and her friends are being hunted by a man who can kill them in their dreams. They can’t sleep, not when they know Freddy might be waiting for them. And they aren't alone. Peele admits Nightmare on Elm Street kept him awake for 10 years of his life.


“Jaws is debatably the greatest movie of any genre, of all time.” 

A strong statement, for sure. Yet, adjusted for inflation, Jaws remains one of the highest grossing films of all time, at number 6. A perfect mix of dread and anticipation, this film is about one of the greatest predators nature ever produced, the great white shark. A sleepy seaside town comes alive during the summer tourist season, so naturally, no one wants to listen to talk about any pesky shark. Our heroes include a police chief who can’t swim, a salty dog of a sailor who hates sharks, and a grown-up trust fund baby who loves sharks. As long as you remember what the author of the original novel came to advocate—sharks are important to their ecosystems and rarely a threat to humans—have fun being scared by a creature that can outswim and out bite you. 

And our bonus recommendation is for Rosemary's Baby! A brilliant horror movie Peele credits with inspiring Get Out. Ira Levin wrote the source material for both this and The Stepford Wives, another wonderful, creepy story that influenced Peele's first film.

Whether you’re whetting your appetite with Peele's works or revisiting these classics—we hope you enjoy them all. Happy hauntings!