‘Us’ Movie Review

'Us' Movie Review

Paige Schneider, Staff Reporter

American actor, comedian, and filmmaker Jordan Peele released his intriguing and terrifying movie ‘Us’ on March 26th, 2019. Known best for his Oscar-winning 2017 movie ‘Get out’, Peele once again stunned audiences with the rated-R release. As the movies first easter egg, Peele shows off just what exactly inspired the unheard of storyline of ‘Us’ – the “Hands Across America” charity event, and the movies “C.H.U.D”, “The Goonies” and “The Right Stuff.” From the trailers present months before the film’s release, ‘Us’ seems serious and based on supernatural occurrences. Although, when released, the film revealed a much more humorous, human outlook.

The motion picture focuses on the life of Adelaide Wilson, portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o, starting out with a small scene from her childhood. The film then shifts focus onto her present-day life – she is accompanied by her husband, Abraham, portrayed by Winston Duke, and her two children, Zora and Jason portrayed by Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex. Haunted by a memory from the past, a paranoid Adelaide becomes increasingly afraid of her surroundings, and for good reason. What she believes comes true, in more epic proportions, and four strangers descend upon their household. The family is horrified to find that when the strangers’ masks come off, they are face to face with their own doppelgangers. The family escapes their captors and attempts to travel to safety only to find that it’s not just themselves that are in danger, but the entirety of America.

I have been a fan of Jordan Peele ever since I was young – the Twilight zone was one of my favorite shows to watch as a child. I was more than ecstatic when ‘Get Out’ was announced, and even more so when ‘Us’ was revealed. Just like ‘Get Out’, ‘Us’ carried out an unheard of idea extremely well. Never at one point throughout the movie did I know what was going to happen next, nor did I feel like the characters were safe. I was constantly on my toes, and the sense of dread never left me. I felt that Lupita Nyong’o’s acting in particular really brought the concept to life, and made everything seem all that more realistic.

The fact that the dopplegangers were human, and not something supernatural, upped the scare factor by quite a bit. Realizing that something like this isn’t all that impossible, or not as impossible as a serial maniac like Chucky, made the entire film so much more unnerving for me. The fact that the characters doppelgangers acted in such an unfamiliar, unnerving way gave them the intimidation of another entity although they were nothing other than flesh and blood. Besides all of the blood, guts, and gore, Peele was even able to squeeze a few laughs into the film, which I thoroughly appreciated.

Peele spent time letting the audience get to know the characters and build up sympathy for their situation before he introduced a powerful plot twist towards the end of the film. I was left wondering whether the doppelgangers or the humans living normal lives were the victims of the story. Upon reviewing the film, I found that there had been moments of foreshadowing building up to the surprise ending the entire movie. There were even hints as to another, more subtle hidden plot twist that wasn’t outright confirmed.

Out of all of the horror films I have watched in the past year, this film definitely sticks out. It’s been a long time since a director broke the mold so much and executed it so well. The idea presents a much darker side to humanity and even quietly addresses some of the problems that are around today. If you’re looking for an interesting plot that makes you think, and don’t mind doing some digging after the film, ‘Us’ is a great option. Even without all of the background knowledge it’s still an amazing film with convincing characters and a frightening atmosphere.