Jordan Peele is operating at a rare degree of excellence. The filmmaker is one the handful of working directors who is their movie’s own best selling point. Like Quentin Tarantino, Greta Gerwig or Christopher Nolan — if Peele’s in the director’s seat, you don’t need to know what the movie’s about. You just know you gotta see it. Just don’t call Peele the best horror director ever or he will shut you down.
That’s what happened earlier this week to a well-meaning fan named Adam Ellis. He noted that Peele is now three-for-three on critically acclaimed frightfests that also have a lot on their mind. Between Get Out, Us and Nope, it’s hard not to be a little blown away by Peele’s track record. “I know this is a hot take but at what point do we declare Jordan Peele the best horror director of all time?” Ellis tweeted. “Can you think of another horror director that had 3 great films, let alone 3 in a row? I can’t.”
“Sir, please put the phone down I beg you,” Peele responded.
Sir, please put the phone down I beg you.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) July 20, 2022
Polite but firm, Peele was not interested in any such acclaim. “Sorry,” he continued. “I love your enthusiasm but I will just not tolerate any John Carpenter slander!!!”
Well, that’s a fair. John Carpenter certainly made at least three great films (off the top of this our heads: Halloween, The Fog and They Live) so Peele’s point is sound. (Ellis pushed back, saying Halloween was Carpenter’s only great movie. To each their own).
But Ellis can be forgiven for speculating. He’s definitely right that Peele has pulled off a hat trick — three critically acclaimed bangers in a row is no mean feat. Ellis just didn’t anticipated how humble Peele would be about it.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.