Jordan Peele is one of the most prominent horror writer-director making movies today. He won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his thriller Get Out, his solo feature directorial debut. The movie was considered by the WGA (Writers Guild of America) the best screenplay of the 21st Century. Since then, he has written and directed two more movies: Us and Nope. All his stories are significantly different, but they all stay with the viewer way beyond after the credits roll. Many wondered which movie was Peele’s scariest one, and it all depends on the viewers: gore or maybe the feeling of being watched can affect different people in various ways.
Coming from a comedy background, when Jordan Peele first got into the horror genre, many were shocked. The filmmaker has expressed how he believes the two genres are fairly similar, even if not at first glance. Nonetheless, his three feature films were incredibly well written, shot, and acted. With some quotable moments and others too haunting to forget, he has a great repertoire of dialogue. Here are the best quotes from his movies.
15 “Didn’t I tell you this Motherf**** would come up with a non-electrical camera? Let’s go, boy!” – Nope
Emerald (Keke Palmer) in Nope is one of the funniest characters, if not the funniest, in all three movies made by Peele. She has a clear vision and wants to make money and save her family’s business and ranch by filming the alien that looms above them. Not only is this line funny, but it also says a lot about the time of comradery the siblings have, as they high-five many times really fast after she says it.
14 “It’s us.” – Us
Jordan Peele started this trend of his films having names that could enter a normal conversation. It’s a terrifying scene as the duplicate family arrive and enter the house, and take the protagonists, the Wilson family, as hostages in their own home. When both families look at one another, there’s bewilderment and fear on their faces. That’s when Jason (Evan Alex) says, “It’s us.”
13 “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” – Get Out
After Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is kidnapped and strapped to a chair in front of a TV, old commercials start to play — all with subliminal messages. One of them says, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Right in theme with the movie and the idea of brain transplant is the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) motto. While it was not a phrase written by the writer-director, the way he used it was so ingenious that it needed to be highlighted. The motto was voiced by none other than Peele himself.
12 “I have the highest kill count in the family.” – Us
Even in a brutal slasher with social commentary, Peele is able to create truly funny moments. When the family needs to escape by car, the eldest daughter Umbrae (Shahadi Wright Joseph), demands to drive the car, as her father is not well and her mom is handcuffed. Her first argument as to why they should let her drive is because she has the highest kill count in the family. A (not so) mature way for a pre-teen to deal with a very important matter that rings true and creates a much-needed comedic moment.
11 “Get out!” – Get Out
One of the best moments and quotes of the horror thriller Get Out is the moment Andre (Lakeith Stanfield) snaps out of the trance and screams the words “get out,” the title of the movie. Chris and the audience start to see concrete evidence that there is something dark going on behind the scenes. It’s the moment where a lot of the tension the story has been slowly building up explodes — only for it to keep getting higher.
10 “I mean, I told you not to go in that house.” – Get Out
Although all of Peele’s movies are primarily horror or thrillers, the comedic aspect is always present. Peele found the best blend between the genres he is so good at, never taking away too much from the horror and still not transforming the movie into a complete drama. The main comic relief of Get Out is Rod (Lil Rel Howery), Chris’ best friend. After saving Chris, they both take a moment to look at each other, and he utters one of the funniest lines in the movie, “I mean, I told you not to go in that house.” It perfectly exemplifies Peele’s sense of humor as well as the characters’ relationship.
9 “They look exactly like us. They think like us. They know where we are.” – Us
The protagonists are on the run. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) says the quote and then adds, “We need to move and keep moving. They won’t stop until they kill us… or we kill them.” This is when the viewer and the rest of the characters understand the amount of danger they are in. It’s a simple way of explaining the threat and, at the same time, potentializing it. It does ponder the question: how can you surprise yourself?
8 “You know I can’t give you the keys, right, babe?” – Get Out
One of the big twists in the movie is that Rose (Allison Williams) was actually in the whole scheme of alluring black men and getting their bodies. When Chris has had enough and is scared of the Armitage family, he keeps asking Rose for the keys so that they can get out of there. She pretends for a while, even curses at her brother for trying to hit Chris with a lacrosse stick. But then she reveals her true nature, and Chris realizes if he wants to make it out, he will have to do it completely on his own.
7 “He got caught up trying to tame the predator. You can’t do that. You got to enter an agreement with one.” – Nope
OJ says this about Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun), who is killed by the alien, as well as killing multiple people. Ricky tried to make a spectacle of dominating the alien, a creature he didn’t understand. He did the opposite of what made him live in the infamous attack by his monkey co-star, Gordy (Terry Notary) when he was a kid. Then, they entered an agreement based on friendship, and with the alien, he tried to make it do his will.
6 “I never stopped thinking about you.” – Us
The haunting montage of Red and Adelaide facing each other, and Red telling her horrible story growing up in the tunnels, is one of the best moments and reveals of the film. It explains to the audience what the clones are in a cinematic way that could have only come out of Peele’s mind. Once again, Lupita’s acting carries this impossibly heartbreaking and creepy scene and is one of the best monologues of the story.
5 “Now, you are in the sunken place.” – Get Out
The whole scene where Chris is hypnotized is electric to watch. Both actors, Daniel Kaluuya and Catherine Keener, are exquisite and carry the tension right from the beginning to the very end of the scene. And while there are many great quotes from this conversation alone, the one that really sums up the terror of what just happened is the somber, “Now, you are in the sunken place.”
4 “What’s a bad miracle?” – Nope
There was really no better way of phrasing the fear and confusion OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) was feeling than asking this question after he saw the alien. OJ then follows with, “They got a word for that?” To which Emerald responds with the simple “nope,” the title of the movie, which is said a few times throughout the story. It’s such a simple way of phrasing a deeply complex moment and feeling, which Peele does incredibly well in his movies.
3 “Once upon a time there was a girl and the girl had a shadow.” – Us
The first time the Wilson family meets their “shadows” is a creepy scene with a haunting performance by Lupita Nyong’o. Red tells the story of how different their lives have been, as well as explains the parallels, and hints at many things the viewer will only understand later on. It gives the audience enough information to become completely engaged in the story and, at the same time, fear these people. With superb writing that makes it all even better, it’s one of the best scenes in the movie and one of Peele’s best monologues.
2 “We don’t deserve the impossible.” – Nope
The whole meaning behind this hauntingly beautiful movie is quite simple: society’s obsession with spectacles. This line is said by the filmmaker the Haywood siblings hire to help them get the impossible shot, Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott). It summarizes a lot of the movie’s plot, as after he says this, he gets the impossible shot — only to die a few instances later.
1 “This dream you’re chasing, it’s the dream you never wake up from.” – Nope
Nope has multiple layers in most dialogue as well as the overall narrative. It’s an interesting concept: to have a dream of chasing grandeur only to either die by it or never be able to conquer it. While the movie feels modern and deals with very current themes, it is also about something that mankind has been searching for since the beginning of time making it timeless.