By this point, Jordan Peele has established himself as a character actor, magazine cover model, and one-half of a genius sketch-comedy duo. Soon the “Key and Peele” star will be able to add horror director to the list. “My goal, in all honesty, is to write and direct horror movies,” Peele told a Playboy interviewer this week. He’s now co-writing and directing a straight horror film—not a comedy/horror hybrid— called “Get Out.” And, like the comedy in “Key and Peele,” the movie will deal directly with racial issues. He tells Playboy:
I don’t want to say too much about it, but it is one of the very, very few horror movies that does jump off of racial fears. That to me is a world that hasn’t been explored. Specifically, the fears of being a black man today. The fears of being any person who feels like they’re a stranger in any environment that is foreign to them. It deals with a protagonist that I don’t see in horror movies.
There’s a complicated history of race and horror movies. (For one thing, black characters have often been the first to die.) But if anyone is up to the task, it’s Peele. In the current season especially, “Key and Peele” has played with genre conventions of thrillers, alien invasions, and mafia movies. (While also riffing on “True Detective” in a weekly runner.) And their Halloween episode, airing Wednesday night, shows the duo’s comfort with horror, especially in this hilarious and genuinely creepy sketch about the dark side of Make-a-Wish recipients.