In Theatres: 
Mar 22, 2019
Running Time: 
116 minutes

Jordan Peele made more than waves with his 2017 directorial debut Get Out, garnering critical acclaim from just about everywhere as well as award nominations and wins including taking home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. More importantly, its themes helped bring a larger voice to the underrepresented black community and helped ignite communication that is still ongoing to this day. With Get Out’s success, I would say there is an even greater pressure for Peele to deliver on his sophomoric film, Us. After watching Us earlier this week and having its images and themes haunting both my thoughts and dreams, Peele successfully delivers another uniquely terrifying addition to the horror genre.


Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o) returns to her childhood beach house for a summer getaway with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and two kids, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), but going back brings up a childhood trauma she was hoping to move past. Everything she’s repressed over the years comings flooding back to the surface when a mysterious family comprised of their own doppelgängers invades their home. Adelaide will do whatever it takes to defend her family, even if that means finally confronting her own nightmare; herself.


Right from the opening scene, Us draws audiences into its dark and twisted world where everything may look normal at first glance, but there’s something unsettling constantly lurking in the shadows even with there’s no immediate danger or anything that could be considered scary to look at. There’s an uneasiness to the setting. Peele turns an idyllic sandy beach that’s meant to be a place of relaxation into a tense and haunting nightmare.


Things only get more terrifying when the family’s doppelgängers arrive. They all look almost identical to each member of the family, only they wear these red jumpers, a leather glove, and carry a sharp pair of golden scissors as their weapon of choice for anyone who gets in their way. Their mannerisms are unnatural and animalistic. Adelaide’s doppelgänger, Red, in particular is absolutely terrifying. Everyone is good at bringing a contrast between their two characters, but it’s Lupita Nyong’o who delivers a fantastic, Oscar-worthy performance as both characters that will send shivers down your spine and haunt your dreams for nights to come.


Surprisingly, the film also has its fair share of humorous moments, mostly on account of Winston Duke's wonderful performance. He's the dad of the family and his humor matches the role, whether he's trying to embarass his kids or initiate sexy time with his wife. It fits perfectly and provides some well-place levity in an otherwise tense film.


Us is not only horrifyingly scary, it also has so many layers of meaning embedded with it, just like Get Out. Without going into spoilers, Us is definitely a film you’re going to want to watch multiple times. It’s a film you’re going to want to discuss with others. Every scene has something to discover within it, whether it’s an easter egg or a clue to the film’s mysteries. The more I think about Us, the greater appreciation for the film and for Jordan Peele I have.


It wouldn’t have been a surprise if the film didn’t live up to the high expectations Get Out set up for Jordan Peele, but his vision is crystal clear in what he wants his films to achieve. Us is another masterpiece from Peele and further cements him as an auteur of Hollywood.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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