Movies that influenced Jordan Peele

Jennifer Kent’s “The Babadook” is one of the most defining horror films of the 2010s. Amelia (Essie Davis) is a single mother living with her young son Sam (Noah Wiseman). Amelia harbors passive aggressive feelings towards Sam, whose birth was semi-responsible for her husband’s death. A mysterious pop-up book appears in Sam’s room, telling the story of a creature named “Mister Babadook”. Sam becomes terrified of the character, and soon enough Ameila begins to sense the entity’s presence in their home.

While on the one hand “The Babadook” is about this “monster”, at its heart it’s a metaphor for heartbreak. This approach to storytelling struck a chord with Peele, who portrayed “The Babadook” in a video for Fear: The House of Horror: “It was just a movie about something different than what it was about and it scared me.”

In an interview with Mother Jones, Peele explained his belief in the function of horror: “With a horror movie, you create a metaphor. You create a personalized nightmare for the protagonist.” It’s no surprise that he’s a fan of “The Babadook” and how it incorporates reality and emotion into horror, as the film is heavily grounded in Amelia’s personal traumas and fears.

It’s clear that Peele takes this approach with his movies as well, which never deal with what they seem to be about, much like “The Babadook.” He’s such a fan of Kent’s modern classic that he tweeted the entire plot of ‘The Babadook’ using emojis and included it in her list of horror movies Lupita Nyong’o must watch to prepare for her role in ‘Us’ (via Weekly entertainment).

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