Jordan Peele And Jamie Lee Curtis Used CinemaCon 2022 To Argue We Need Horror

CinemaCon is well underway in Las Vegas, and today marked the presentation from Universal Pictures. The studio is known for their tentpole summer blockbusters, but also has distribution deals with Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions and the horror juggernaut, Blumhouse. Jordan Peele was in attendance at CinemaCon to provide an exclusive first look at his highly-anticipated follow up to "Get Out" and "Us," the not-of-planet-earth sci-fi horror thriller, "Nope." 

Peele took the stage and stated that people need theaters, especially when it comes to horror films. "Roller coasters aren't fun alone," he said. "Laughing isn't fun alone. Being scared isn't fun alone." Peele is absolutely correct. While there's plenty of fun to be had with horror regardless of the viewing circumstances, there's absolutely nothing quite like watching a horror movie in a theater surrounded by screaming strangers and friends.

Peele wasn't alone in sharing sentiments regarding the importance of horror. Jamie Lee Curtis, living legend and star of the "Halloween" franchise since 1978, took to the stage next to help introduce footage from the upcoming end of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's sequel trilogy, "Halloween Ends." JLC's relationship with horror is unique, as she personified what many believe to be the ultimate Final Girl. She's been returning to the role for over four decades, and thereby has an intimate idea of how vital it can be to an audience. Playing Laurie Strode has helped Jamie Lee Curtis see what so many horror fans have been trying to explain for a century — horror is paramount for living well.

'Horror matters'

Peele emphasized the importance of his work by acknowledging Black audiences, and explained that the title of "Nope" is a way for him to let Black audiences know that they're being heard. "I like the titles that are in tune with what the audience is feeling," he said. Historically, horror has not had a great relationship with Black representation and storytelling, but Peele has been breaking down boundaries since "Get Out" debuted in 2017. His production company has continued prioritizing Black horror stories, including Nia DaCosta's brilliant return to the world of "Candyman."

Similarly, Jamie Lee Curtis spoke of the power horror has to help vulnerable women. She continued to speak on her history as Laurie Strode, calling it the "ride of [her] life" to have been fortunate enough to keep coming back to the character decade after decade. "I had no idea when I was cowering in a closet 45 years ago that this character would become the most important relationship [for her career]." While Laurie may be the blueprint for the Final Girl, JLC sees her as much more than that. For her, and so many others, Laurie Strode is a figure who represents so many other women forced to face their own figurative boogeyman. She told the audience that she once read that horror lets us confront what we can't control, and found the statement to be a revelation. "Horror matters," she concluded.

Too often, horror is relegated as nothing more than extreme violence and over-the-top gore. While that may be true, horror can also be used as a beneficial tool to allow people to process their negative emotions in a safe environment, as it isn't real life, and only a movie. Horror can provide catharsis, and allow audiences to see their own fears and anxieties reflected on screen, which is why so many of us keep coming back for more. Peele and Curtis are right: we need horror.