The terms “elevated horror” and “elevated genre movie” surged in popularity a few years ago following a string of acclaimed offerings like Ari Aster’s “Hereditary,” Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” Robert Eggers’ “The Witch,” Luca Guadagnino’s “Suspiria” and more. The term refers to genre films with a seemingly more artful sensibility than most fare, plus a focus on dramatic themes such as grief and trauma. In reality, the best genre films have always represented the style of filmmaking now being labeled as “elevated.”
Peele, who has had to personally contend with the “elevated horror” term on his “Get Out” directorial follow-up projects “Us” and “Nope,” recently shut down the label during an interview with The Verge. As the publication wrote: The Oscar winner “balked at the idea of explicitly setting out to make movies that people slap a prestige label onto simply because its subject matter is nuanced.”
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“I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to make ‘elevated’ films,” Peele said. “I think that’s a trap that I don’t quite appreciate because I, you know, I like making fucked-up films. I like making weird movies that I’m really just not supposed to make — and sometimes challenge people on the other side of things as well.”
“The thing about your films is that the observations are so impactful that I think they double people over,” Peele’s “Nope” star Keke Palmer added in the same article. “And it’s us that come to the theater like, ‘I want to be able to take this observation and know what to do with it.’ [That feeling] challenges me; it puts me to the task because I know when Jordan puts his movies together and does his artistry, it’s based off of something that he felt.”
“Nope” joined “Get Out” and “Us” over the summer as yet another Peele directorial effort to gross over $100 million at the domestic box office. “Nope” will be available to stream on Peacock starting Nov. 18.
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