Is he the best horror director of all time? Jordan Peele says ‘Nope’

Jordan Peele politely but firmly said nope to a fan who suggested he might be the best horror director in the history of the genre.

On Wednesday, comic book writer Adam Ellis tweeted his high praise for the Oscar-winning writer and filmmaker, whose third feature, “Nope,” has drawn rave reviews ahead of its theatrical release. But Peele was not having it.

“I know this is a hot take but at what point do we declare Jordan Peele the best horror director of all time? Can you think of another horror director that had 3 great films, let alone 3 in a row? I can’t,” Ellis tweeted.

Peele replied, “Sir, please put the phone down I beg you.”

To underscore his point, Ellis included a screenshot of review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes’ scores for each of Peele’s movies: “Get Out” (98%), “Us” (93%) and “Nope” (88%).

“I’m open to discussion but if you’re coming into my mentions to say Get Out and Us are anything less than modern classics you might as well just show yourself out because I’m not open to that (wrong) opinion,” he added.

As anticipated, Ellis’ “hot take” prompted some objections — most notably from the director himself. While disagreeing with his admirer, Peele paid homage to his own favorite horror director, John Carpenter, known for helming classic films such as “The Fog” and “Halloween.”

“Sorry,” Peele tweeted. “I love your enthusiasm but, I will just not tolerate any John Carpenter slander!!!”

Standing by his original statement, Ellis responded, “Halloween is a stone cold classic, but the rest of [Carpenter’s] horror movies aren’t great in my opinion. He has some good ones for sure, but they’re like cult classics in my mind.”

In Ellis’ defense, Peele has achieved somewhat of a rare hat trick with his first three films, which have all received widespread critical acclaim. His feature directorial debut, “Get Out,” landed four Oscar nominations in 2018, while Lupita Nyong’o’s terrifying lead performance in “Us” was up for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2020.

The auteur’s latest offering, “Nope,” is a science fiction flick starring Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun and Keke Palmer. In his review, Times film critic Justin Chang deemed the picture “an unusually well-made and imaginative thriller that’s sometimes tripped up by its own high-mindedness — and also, perhaps, by a closing stretch that struggles to bring Peele’s grand intentions together.

“Still, there’s no denying the richness of his ideas or the skill with which he taps into his inner Steven Spielberg,” Chang added, “an inspiration that can seem tiresome in the wrong hands, but which here feels uniquely pointed and purposeful.”

“Nope” hits theaters Friday.

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