Peele studied classic horror movies before he started directing them.
Jordan Peele went viral in July when he replied to a tweet calling him the greatest horror director of all time. “Sir, please hang up the phone, please,” Peele wrote. “Sorry. I love your enthusiasm, but I will not tolerate any slander from John Carpenter!!!”
While Peele’s response was mostly joking, it was yet another example of the director professing his love for classic horror cinema. Even before establishing himself as one of the finest filmmakers of his generation, Peele has always been open about his love for all things horror. And in recent years, he’s used his newfound status as a darling of the horror community to get poetic about the many spooky subgenres he enjoys. From 1980s slasher films to meticulously crafted psychological horror, his appreciation for the art of scare only seems to have grown as his filmography has grown. And Peele is far from a passive spectator: his films are often littered with references to famous horror movies, and his online fans often have fun unboxing the various homages.
If you’re a new horror fan looking for an introduction or just looking to brush up on your knowledge of the genre, you could do a lot worse than watch Peele’s favorite films. Keep reading for a roundup of 10 movies that inspired the “No” director.