When Jordan Peele first announced that his directorial debut would be a horror film, audiences were confused. At the time, Peele was best known as a sketch comic who played characters ranging from an annoying girlfriend to a maniacal airline passenger prepared to combat “terries.” Of course, anyone who was skeptical about Peele’s ability to make a horror movie was quickly silenced by Get Out, which succeeded as both a masterpiece of the genre and a startling commentary on contemporary racial issues. Then, two years later, Peele proved it wasn’t a fluke with another terrific directorial effort, Us. But what are the scariest scenes from each movie?
Updated on July 29th, 2022 by Jom Elauria: Jordan Peele continues to prove his brilliance in directing horror films with his latest flick Nope. Just like his earlier films Get Out and Us, Nope goes beyond the horror genre to include an inventive storyline that also doubles as an analysis of relevant social issues. Before watching Nope, viewers should refresh themselves on the Peele brand of horror and take a look at some of the most unsettling and terrifying scenes from his previous flicks.
The Scariest Scenes From Get Out
Andre/Logan Tells Chris To “Get Out!!!”
With roles in Sorry to Bother You, Uncut Gems, and FX’s Atlanta, Lakeith Stanfield has quickly established himself as one of Hollywood’s best, brightest, and most sought-after young actors. In Get Out, Stanfield delivers the titular line of dialogue. He plays Andre Hayworth, who has been trapped in the Sunken Place and had his body stolen by Logan King.
Chris is sure he recognizes him at the Armitages’ party, so he snaps a sneaky photo without realizing the flash is on. This brings Andre to the forefront of his own mind very briefly as he implores Chris to get the hell out of there.
The Opening Scene
Since horror movies play on the audience’s knowledge – or lack thereof – of their curious worlds, it’s always a great idea to tag on a kind of cold opening at the beginning. Without context, this kind of opening scene can establish the terror of the movie long before it affects the protagonist; and by then, the audience has forgotten all about it.
Get Out uses this kind of opening masterfully, as Andre Hayworth wanders through Rose’s parents’ white neighborhood before being choked out by a guy wearing fencing gear and thrown in the trunk of his sports car. Then, he vanishes without a trace.
Missy Hypnotizes Chris
Chris gets his first ominous warning that everything at the Armitage household is not as friendly and welcoming as it seems when his girlfriend’s mother, Missy, hypnotizes him with a teacup and sends him to the Sunken Place.
Catherine Keener was praised for her performance as Missy because she’s seemingly very warm and pleasant on the surface, but she has the acting chops to pull off an authentic creepiness as her character’s true colors begin to show.
The Party Scene
The Armitage family holds an annual get-together for their friends. However, the party has an eerie atmosphere to it and Chris felt fetishized as the guests made comments about his body and expressed regard for iconic black figures like Tiger Woods.
Aside from being attacked by Logan, the end of the party scene also has a creepy and unsettling moment. When Chris leaves, the guests of the party immediately stop talking. It goes to show that the party is only a front to get to know Chris better before the evil Armitage family carries out their plan.
Before Chris Gets Wheeled To The Surgery Room
In one of the most heart-pumping scenes in the film, Chris appears to be asleep due to Missy’s hypnosis. When Jeremy comes to fetch Chris to wheel him into the surgery room, the protagonist shows that he’s learned to circumvent the hypnosis by stuffing his ears with cotton he took from the chair.
Chris goes on a rampage and kills both Jeremy and Dean before setting the operating room on fire. The string of revenge killings is satisfying for audiences, but there’s no doubt that the whole scene will have them on edge.
The Auction Scene
The scariest scenes in Get Out are the ones that recall shocking realities. Jordan Peele uses cross-cutting masterfully during the auction scene, as he cuts between Chris and Rose saying, “I love you,” for the first time, and the Armitages auctioning off Chris’ body.
The auction element draws clear parallels with the slave trade – which Peele has said is the underlining subject of the whole movie – and warns the audience that there’s serious danger ahead for Chris.
“You Know I Can’t Give You The Keys, Right, Babe?”
Get Out was a hit with audiences and is a very high-grossing Jordan Peele movie due to its unexpected twists and turns. When Chris gets back to the Armitage house, he wants to leave right away and starts packing. Rose goes along with it, promising to drive him home. Chris finds a shoebox filled with pictures of Rose with black boyfriends (and one black girlfriend) and his suspicions escalate rapidly.
He heads for the door, repeatedly asking Rose for the car keys as she rummages through her bag and the Armitages ominously surround him. Eventually, Rose takes the keys out of her bag and says, “You know I can’t give you the keys, right, babe?”
The Scariest Scenes From Us
Adelaide Finds Her Doppelganger In A Hall Of Mirrors
Based on his first two movies, Jordan Peele is a master of gripping audiences immediately with a riveting opening scene. After the abduction of Andre Hayworth at the beginning of Get Out, Peele opened Us with a young Adelaide wandering away from her parents and finding a dusty old hall of mirrors.
Following a couple of anticlimactic jumps scares, Adelaide stumbles upon the true horror that this hall of mirrors has to offer: her own doppelganger.
“There’s A Family In Our Driveway.”
The inciting incident in Us arrives when the Tethered versions of the Wilsons show up at the end of the driveway. Jason is the one who spots them, casually telling his parents, “There’s a family in our driveway.”
The scene initially plays out in dead silence, with the Tethered family standing ominously in a line, holding hands, waiting for the right moment to approach the house and attack.
The Tyler Family Gets Attacked
As with other Jordan Peele films, Us serves as a social commentary on the racial injustices in society. In one of the chilling and bloody scenes in the movie, the Tyler family, which are close to the Wilson family, were also visited and assaulted by their doppelgängers.
While the murder of the Tyler family was a swift affair, Kitty Tyler survives the assault and tries to get help from their A.I. assistant Ophelia. However, the assistant misunderstood what Kitty was saying and instead plays the N.W.A song “F*** Tha Police”. The scene reinstates the fact that in certain violent scenarios, some folks can’t bring up their race to protect themselves.
Despite being the youngest Wilson family member, Jason shows that he’s smart and clever enough to get out of trouble. He soon finds out that his doppelgänger, whose name is Pluto, mirrors every move he makes.
After the Wilson family gets cornered by Pluto who threatens to blow up their vehicle, Jason gets out of the car and starts walking backward. Because he knows Pluto mirrors his actions, Jason walks back far enough that his doppelgänger lands in a fiery heap. If he finds himself in the world of Nope, Jason is definitely a character that will survive the movie’s extraterrestrial threats.
Red’s First Monologue
While Lupita Nyong’o’s decision to emulate people with spasmodic dysphonia to sound evil in the role of Red in Us proved to be controversial, she did effectively portray a vengeful doppelganger who’d spent years underground, waiting to pounce.
The Tethered’s invasion of the Wilsons’ vacation home was heavily influenced by Michael Haneke’s Funny Games. Once they’ve broken in and the Wilsons realize they’re exact copies of themselves, the tension is unbearable. And then, Red breaks into a chilling monologue. The way Red delivered her monologue and makes her one of the creepiest and best characters in a Jordan Peele film.
The Underground Classroom Fight
In the climactic moments of Us, Adelaide chases her doppelganger down into the tunnels where the Tethered have been living for decades. She finds Red in a classroom, drawing a Hands Across America-style human chain on the chalkboard.
They engage in a fight, but Red can predict all of Adelaide’s moves, and it becomes a kind of violent ballet. The “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” on the soundtrack plays brilliantly into the menacing tone of the film.
The Shocking Twist Ending
Jordan Peele has said that the twist ending of Us was designed to make audiences question the difference between good and bad – or whether or not there even is a difference, given what a vast, complex middle ground there is between them.
The way that Jason looks at his mother in the movie’s final moments seems to strongly suggest that he knows what she did.
NEXT: Jordan Peele’s 8 Favorite Horror Movies Of All Time
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