‘Key & Peele’s Best Horror Spoofs, Ranked
From movies lampooning horrors, to fans giving us their best filmmaking efforts, to John C. Reilly doing it better than an Oscar winner, it’s no secret that we love a good spoof. It just feels fitting then that, this Halloween, we pay tribute to two of the best horror parodists this side of Mel Brooks and Community.
For five glorious seasons, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele mined comedy gold on Key & Peele, often lampooning horror movies and tropes while showcasing their love of dark humor. So, let’s dive into some of their best spooky work, including making fun of suburban zombies and asking the critical question: Why do folks think vampires are hot?
‘Gremlins 2 Brainstorm’
In which the guys poke fun at what the brainstorming session of Joe Dante’s iconic fantasy horror movie’s bonkers sequel must’ve looked like — clearly conceived by a bunch of “raging psychopaths.”
Playing into the trope that vampires are the horniest subgenre in horror, it’s Peele sporting his most creeper magician look ever (that buttoned-down silky shirt, that hair) to embody the leader of a vampire coven displeased with their newest member, Tyrell, and his lack of goth attire. Tyrell, in turn, is not feeling any of the vampire bullshit and refuses to conform in any way whatsoever. Well, except for the customary nipple play.
Ah yes, the classic case of horror viewers lamenting a movie for not being scary while being scared shitless by what they just saw. Indeed, so “stupid.”
Japanese horror is distinctly recognizable by the presence of at least one ashen-faced child ghost, and this sketch sees the guys exploring how the broiest of frat bros would deal with one.
‘Horror Movie Hecklers’
In which Key and Peele play annoying guys lifted straight from Film Twitter as these two complain about the lack of mise-en-scene and the overuse of film exposure.
The mere mention of Room 237 at the beginning of this sketch should serve as a tip-off to horror fans as to where it’s going. Peele plays a man who is all about his hotel’s continental breakfast, so much so that he never leaves — or even arrives.
The two comedians explore the untapped potential found in the situational comedy of racist zombies in suburbia. While George A. Romero’s classic Living Dead films were a bleak commentary on society, this one, at least, ends on a surprisingly celebratory note.
Channeling FBI agent Will Graham in the psychological horror thriller Red Dragon and the TV series Hannibal, Key and Peele address the question oft-ignored regarding these forensic profilers shown to greatly empathize with criminals and “get inside their heads.”
A hilarious twist on the tired trope of someone getting bitten in a zombie movie and needing to be taken out.
Key and Peele’s “Black People Telepathy” joke in this hilarious sketch also pops up in this year’s fantastic The Blackening. Which, you know, makes sense, as The Blackening pays tribute to Black horror and mocks all that has come before.
Kids in horror movies have always been the genre’s secret weapon because they either represent the good and the innocent surrounded by the world’s evils or are the unexpected evil themselves. In movies like IT and The Sixth Sense, we pity them. In movies like The Omen and We Need to Talk About Kevin, not so much. Key and Peele clearly sat down and asked the question, “How can we create the most terrifying child no horror movie has ever shown?” Because this is, quite obviously, the answer to that question.
Taking John Kramer/Jigsaw’s teachings about appreciating life or whatever and turning it against a killer clown, Key and Peele play the optimistic victims in this Saw parody and end up torturing said clown with their own nauseously positive philosophies about concepts like unplugging and needing arms.