A couple of years ago, comedian turned filmmaker Jordan Peele took the horror world by storm with his directorial debut, Get Out (read our review here). While some found it to be a masterpiece, others found it to be predictable and derivative. For me, it fell somewhere in the middle (to be fair, I still need to give it a second watch). I have been looking forward to Peele’s follow up, Us, since I first heard the synopsis. I avoided the trailers like the plague (although I did wind up seeing a trailer when I saw Happy Death Day 2U in theaters). I didn’t want any of the twists ruined for me like they were with Get Out. Luckily, I was able to avoid spoilers until I was able to see us on Tuesday night. Here’s my spoiler free thoughts on Us.
Us stars Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, as well as Shahadi Wright Joseph (The Lion King 2019), Evan Alex (Kidding 2018), Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale TV series), and Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric franchise).
A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.
Us is a much different film than Get Out. The horror in Get Out was much more psychological and restrained, but the scares in this film are more sociological and visceral. Their one common link is the strong social commentary.
I liked that Peele spent time developing the Wilson family. I loved the awkward humor they shared, which made them feel more real and made me genuinely care about what happened to them. I was glad that the humorous interaction between them stayed throughout the film. The scene of Gabriel (Duke) trying to act sexy and seduce Adelaide (Nyong’o), followed by his look of disappointment when it failed, was hysterically funny and will instantly be relatable to anyone who has ever been married. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shadadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex have wonderful chemistry together, which makes things all the better when they show up as their doppelgängers, and we see the flip of the family dynamic. The evil twins are excellently creepy and unnerving, with my favorite being Pluto, the masked boy, who tends to move like a dog and has a predilection for fire.
Us also has a wonderful use of music, including “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz during a family bonding moments, the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and “Fuck the Police” by N.W.A. during a brutal home invasion, and a classically instrumental version of “I Got 5 On It” during a pivotal fight scene.
Now for the things I didn’t really care for, like the big reveal of what was actually going on. It left me with a lot of questions (which in and of itself isn’t necessary a bad thing, as I have been thinking of the film quite a bit since I saw it), and I noticed that a lot of things didn’t seem to add up (or maybe I’m just nitpicking). Overall, I really enjoyed Us.
Us is a sociological horror film with likable characters, a genuine sense of humor, excellent use of music, nightmarish imagery, quick bursts of graphic violence and a social commentary that will keep you thinking, although you may be left with more questions than answers. Highly recommended.