10 Horror Movies That Inspired Jordan Peele to Make ‘Us’

Jordan Peele’s “Us” had the biggest opening ever for an original horror flick.


Jordan Peele is on a roll. The former Key and Peele star turned movie auteur had a totally unexpected hit with Get Out, and now with his follow-up, Us, he’s set a remarkable new record: The biggest box office opening ever for a horror movie.

This is in great part because Peele just knows what the hell he’s doing. One example of him paying attention to finer details: EW reports he gave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o homework to inform her star turn in Us as Adelaide Wilson and Wilson’s evil, scissors-wielding twin, Red—homework in the form of a list of ten horror movies to watch, movies that informed his script for the film.

Us is the story of Nyong’o’s character and her family facing off against their red-clad doppelgängers on what should have been a relaxing beach getaway. Nyong’o has perhaps the most complex pair of roles and she’s garnered the most positive reviews. That may have everything to do with Peele’s list of movies. 

Here are the 10 horror flicks on Peele’s must-watch list: 

The Babadook

It’s a thing that goes bump in the dark, with claw-like hands, and it comes from the cellar. 

It Follows

The most terrifying allegory for STDs ever committed to film.

A Tale of Two Sisters

A patient just released from an insane asylum goes home with her sister to discover family life is now a pretty haunted affair.

The Birds

Alfred Hitchcock’s classic argument against feeding the pigeons.

Funny Games

Michael Hanneke made the German version first, then the American. Both are exercises in soul-deadening real-world horror.


A couple of orphaned French kids find themselves trapped in a hellish underground world.

Let the Right One In

This is about when the cute girl next door turns out to be a vampire who will avenge you against all your bullies. 

The Sixth Sense

This kid saw ghosts, everywhere. And Bruce Willis. 

The Shining

All work and no play made Jack (Nicholson) chew scenery. Jokes aside, this may not be Stephen King’s version, but it’s still a truly great horror movie.

Dead Again

A reincarnation story with a thriller twist, featuring extremely high-end acting for a horror movie from Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh. 

So: There’s a perfectly good list for a weekend binge-watching session—if you can handle it.