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'Get Out' Director Jordan Peele Explains Origin and Influences of His Acclaimed Horror Debut

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Any fan of the Comedy Central series Key and Peele knows that its eponymous creators and costars, Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele, are big-time horror fans. Peele, it turns out, is such a genre groupie that his acclaimed directorial debut, Get Out — which currently boasts a rare 100 percent approval rating on the critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes — is a legit frightener. Yes, there’s some dark comedy in the film, about a young black photographer (Daniel Kaluuya) who senses something sinister going on while meeting his girlfriend’s white parents during a weekend away in the ‘burbs. But Scary Movie this is not.

“The idea came from wanting to be a horror director,” Peele told Yahoo Movies (watch above) at the film’s Los Angeles press day. “Then realizing that I’ve dealt enough with race in my work and my life that I could possibly fill a gap in the horror conversation.”

As far as his influences, Peele listed Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives (“movies about gender the way that this movie’s about race,” he explained) as well as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and the works of David Cronenberg and David Lynch. “Really if you take the 20 greatest horror movies that tend to be the top of everybody’s list, I’m a fan. And you’ll find something [in Get Out] that’s influenced by them.”

Get Out opens Friday.

Watch Jordan Peele show us how he directed certain scenes while doing impressions of Tracy Morgan, Forest Whitaker, and Barack Obama:


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