us – jordan peele

Rating: 4.5/5 (Spoiler free)

After I watched Get Out, I’ve wanted to see Us, and finally got my wish on the plane ride back to the States, which, quite frankly, wasn’t the best idea that I’ve ever had.

I’m very easily frightened yet strangely drawn to horror movies. I have several suspicions as to why this is, one involving knowing the worst possible situation as to prepare for it, but definitely, I have no idea why I these movies.

Us follows a family as they go to their summer house at the beach, somewhere in California. Addy, the mother, grows visibly distressed as they spend more time at the beach, and recalls a traumatic incident in her childhood where she discovered her double in a hall of mirrors. Addy tells Gabe that ever since that encounter, she suspects her doppelganger of trailing her. She is right.

A family of four, identical to the Wilsons, stand hand-in-hand in their driveway, and breaks into their house. Addy’s doppelganger, Red, tells the story of the Tethered, the result of an experiment by the government years ago. When asked who they were, Red replies “we are Americans”, echoing the title, Us, U.S. Whether this is a political statement disguised as a family tale, I’m almost quite sure, but based on Peele’s last movie, Get Out, it could definitely be.

Us is absolutely terrifying, and watching it on a 15-hour flight when nearly everyone else around me was asleep was not the move.

I need to dedicate a new paragraph to Lupita Nyong’o’s spectacular acting. I don’t remember a horror movie winning an Oscar, but for that performance, Nyong’o really does deserve an Oscar. After the plot twist, I rewatched the movie, looking for the level of nuance in her acting. Like Emily Blunt in A Quite Place, even if you don’t like horror movies, you should watch it for their phenomenal acting.

On a more microscopic level, Get Out is written better than Us, every line building urgency and adding towards thematic relevance. However, there were some golden details in there, the most notable being the “we are Americans” line. There was also a knock-knock joke at the beginning of the movie that Gabe tells that connects well with the Tethered.

The number 11 appears everywhere in the movie, so much so that it becomes a little bit tiresome after a while. We first see a man holding up a sign “Jeremiah 11:11” when Addy was still a kid, then we see him again, presumably dead, still holding the sign when the Wilsons return to the beach. There was a mention about 11 during a football game, and of course, when Addy tucks Jason in bed, the time on the clock is 11:11. It’s quite clever, with both the number being a mirror of itself, but I thought it was a little bit overdone.

Overall, it was a great movie, and lovers of Get Out and just horror movies in general will find themselves enjoying this.

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