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Jordan Peele on Choosing Horror: “Get Out … Is My Greatest Fears in Film”

We’re still rolling our eyes over the news that Jordan Peele’s awesome directorial debut, Get Out, is being submit for consideration to the Golden Globes as a comedy, because it is very clearly not a comedy. In fact, it’s a horror film, a dramatic one at that (albeit with humor in it, for sure), and there’s a reason for that.

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At Deadline Hollywood’s annual ‘The Contenders’ event at the DGA Theater, Mike Fleming Jr. interviewed Peele about his decision to step away from full-on comedy and toward the horror genre for his first film as a director. Peele replied that horror is simply his favorite genre (which is apparent in sketches like “Sexy Vampires” and “Make-a-Wish“), and that “I actually started wanting to make a horror thriller, and in asking myself what that would look like, eventually I got to what Get Out is, which is, in many ways, my greatest fears on film.”

He went on to say:

“Honestly, I thought: There’s too many things that you just can’t do in film— the finale where a black man kills a white family in cold blood, and the audience is supposed to be like, ‘Yeah!’ ” Peele joked. “When you watch this movie, I think that’s the power of story. It’s one of the few things that encourages empathy because it allows us to see through others’ eyes.”

I think there are several parts to Get Out being classified as a comedy. I think that Peele’s reputation as a comedic performer is part of it. Pigeonholes are hard to get out of. Then there’s the fact that it’s a genre film, which tend to get taken less seriously. And, of course, there’s the fact that if awards shows acknowledge that this is a drama and not a comedy, they’d have to wrestle with the idea that *gasp* racism is a real-life horror.

Can’t have that, can we? *sigh*

(image: screencap)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.

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