With Eddie Murphy‘s latest movie, You People, currently topping the most popular charts this week, we thought we’d look back at how the legendary comedian helped to inspire another great movie on the Netflix roster: Jordan Peele’s brilliant release, Get Out.
When it comes to contemporary horror filmmaking, Jordan Peele has established himself as the biggest name out there. Seamlessly transitioning from the world of comedy to horror, Peele might have only directed three features so far, but he has already managed to generate intense debates about his position in the pantheon of great directors.
Last year, Peele released his new sci-fi film Nope which many fans have called his masterpiece. Featuring his star collaborator Daniel Kaluuya alongside Keke Palmer, Nope imagines a bizarre scenario where two siblings encounter an incomprehensible extraterrestrial entity on their ranch in the middle of nowhere.
While Nope has garnered widespread critical acclaim, the Peele-Kaluuya collaboration that has been immortalised by popular culture is their 2017 work Get Out. Starring Kaluuya as a young Black man who finds himself in an unsettling labyrinth after deciding to visit his girlfriend’s family, the film is an essential commentary on white liberalism and contemporary racist discourse.
During an interview with The New York Times, Peele said: “This movie is also about how we deal with race. As a black man, sometimes you can’t tell if what you’re seeing has underlying bigotry, or it’s a normal conversation and you’re being paranoid. That dynamic in itself is unsettling. I admit sometimes I see race and racism when it’s not there. It’s very disorienting to be aware of certain dynamics.”
While talking about the discourse of race within the context of modern horror cinema and horror filmmaking traditions, Peele identified a lamentable lack of representation. He explained: “That’s a big piece, but it can’t only be representation, because women have been similarly underrepresented. It’s such a touchy subject. The way we talk about race seems broken.”
From Stanley Kubrick to Alfred Hitchcock, Peele drew inspiration from a lot of sources, but one of the most surprising ones is Eddie Murphy. During a conversation with Entertainment Tonight, the director revealed how a particular Murphy joke from Delirious remained embedded in his mind and played a crucial part in inspiring Get Out.
When asked whether Get Out owed something to Delirious, Peele responded unhesitatingly: “Absolutely. Eddie Murphy is talking about the difference between how a white family and a black family would react in a haunted house. That’s one of the best bits of all time. So yeah, I’m hip.”
Watch Peele explain the connection in the clip below.