While promoting his horror movie “Us,” opening Friday, writer-director Jordan Peele has been delighting fans with sly references to other horror classics, from “The Shining” to “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
On Twitter, Peele responded with quotes from the movies, after fans this week pointed out his sneaky nods, like doing interviews while wearing a red jacket and plaid shirt like those famously donned by Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.”
Before a Wednesday screening of the film for students at Howard University in Washington, Peele wore a red and green striped scarf resembling the red and green sweater of Freddy Krueger, the monstrous serial killer in Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
Some fans also noted that he may have subtly referenced the horror movie “Candyman” — in which bees are a recurring symbol — wearing a bee pin while appearing on “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and a bee tie on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Peele is currently writing what is slated to be a “Candyman” sequel.
An ardent horror movie fan, Peele has cited many classics of the genre as inspiration for his own work.
“I’d see, like, the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ poster, and it would just creep me out. Not even the whole movie, you know. For like two years, I was just creeped out by that poster,” he told Fallon on Monday.
Starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, “Us” is Peele’s highly anticipated first movie since 2017’s “Get Out,” which ingeniously subverted elements of the horror genre while providing trenchant satire about race in America. Produced on only a $4.5 million budget, the comedian’s debut film as a director became a global box-office hit and earned Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay.
Critics have said “Us,” premiering Friday, is more of a traditional horror movie than “Get Out,” but still showcases Peele’s singular vision and is expected to dominate the box office this weekend.
Peele’s sartorial tributes to horror movie characters are also a fitting parallel to the plot of “Us,” which depicts a family confronted by their doppelgangers.