1) Get Out (2017)
Few thought that funnyman Jordan Peele’s first foray into direction would be a horror film – let alone such a provocatively shrewd one. After all, the filmmaker had predominantly worked in comedy beforehand, having been a cast member of MADtv for five seasons before launching his own award-winning sketch comedy show, Key & Peele, with frequent collaborator Keegan-Michael Key.
It seems that Peele’s time on the satirical shows has enabled him to develop an incisive social commentary about class, race, gender and more. And with Peabody-winning show having wrapped in 2015, Peele began exploring new social avenues of creative output – ones that stuck to the satirical tone of his TV shows and yet had the audacious imagination of independent cinema.
And what better way to investigate that sociocultural nuance than through the lens of a horror flick? Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out – a psychological/social horror film that plays out like a nightmarish version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – has proven to be one of the most insightful examinations of race relations in a racially divided nation. Whether it’s the “I would have voted for Obama a third time!” rhetoric or the unintentionally uncomfortable stereotypes, Get Out magnifies some of the underlying subtle racism that African Americans suffer on a daily basis. This sociocultural treatment is a horror film all of its own and one that is arguably more terrifying than the bone-chilling narrative that encompasses it.