Jordan Peele Talks Finding Horror Inspiration: "I Can Be the Monster"

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON - Episode 1032 -Jordan Peele - Publicity-H 20109
Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Jordan Peele dropped in to chat with The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon Monday night, where he talked about his upcoming film Us and revealed how seeing horror films as a child affected the stories he was compelled to make as an adult. 

In reference to The Nightmare on Elm Street, Peele said, "It would just creep me out, not even the whole movie. For two years, I was just creeped out by that poster."

The director went on to share a story from his school years. "There was one trip I took with my school in ninth grade, and I told a scary story and it just got them. You know, the best laugh you've ever gotten in your life is nothing; when you get an audience to shudder and give you that feedback, it's so powerful. I felt like, 'Man, I am Freddy Krueger.'"

Peele went on to say in a deep voice, "I can be the monster, I can give the night terrors." He shared that his life from that point forward was about "transitioning from a goofy nerd to a complicated Rod Serling type." 

Speaking about Us and the suspense of the film, Peele said, "What the audience doesn't know is the best thing, and it's actually the perfect position to get a laugh, too, when the audience is like [Peele demonstrates sitting forward in suspense]. Pretty easily, you can give them something that will give a release valve and then they'll get back into it."