TO YOU BY:
Let me start off with a little backstory as to just how passionate I am for this film and even more so towards Jordan Peele’s success. While I didn’t witness him or his writer/costar Keegan-Michael Key during their MADTV days, I instantly fell in love with their sketch comedy show Key & Peele back in 2011. I even had the opportunity to meet the duo prior to the show ending and Peele beginning production on his Oscar winning horror, Get Out. Now a few years after Get Out’s success, Jordan Peele has released Us as an equal or even greater mastering of the craft.
The first fifteen minutes of Us may be some of the most tense, uncomfortable, and stylistic horror that I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. At a particular moment however, the horror dwindles and the film becomes easier to categorize as a horrific thriller. Peele knows exactly what he is doing behind the camera and Us shows that the filmmaker has not only finesse with the camera, but an out of this world imagination that’s a rare occurrence among the constant media onslaught. Peele had a vision and I believe wholeheartedly that he executed that vision to the utmost degree; even if the final act may ruffle some feathers, as well as confuse others with a “hidden” meaning.
Spoiled slightly by the trailer, the huge twist is incredibly shocking, but those obsessed with Peele’s creation may have already figured the film out before it’s even begun. Similar to Get Out, which dealt with race, Us deals with the challenges of class with a horror twist. The story follows a family on vacation as they are invaded by doppelgängers of themselves. With most of the family unwilling to accept what is possibly happening, the mother must draw back from childhood trauma to survive the lookalikes and keep her family alive.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The cast is made up of brilliant performers x2 and one unlikely comedic actor who’s recently been making way for himself in drama/horror with great success. If there’s one thing for certain about everyone’s viewing experience is that no one will leave appreciating a single character more than the next, with double the trouble lurking around every corner. With great young talent from the likes of Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph, the film projects itself even higher with the great support they bring to the two leading characters, Gabe (Winston Duke) and Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o). The family feels as such, and that’s something rare to see in horror movies in general: an actual realistic family dynamic. Jordan Peele took great care in deciding who should play in his latest, and he successfully cast a phenomenal group of talented individuals led by Lupita Nyong’o completely stealing the show.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
Jordan Peele and his composer executed the soundtrack to Us with mesmerizing intensity. From the subtle bolts of noise to the brilliance of the horrifying rendition of “I’ve Got 5 On It.” Horror enthusiasts should be hyped to here Us play out, as its score stands the test of time, staying within your mind through days after seeing the feature. Returning Get Out composer Michael Abels once more captures a horrific sense of stress and realization through his score, creating an even more provocative composition than his last triumph with Peele.
The visuals in Us are out of this world and give a prime example of something that only Peele could have come up with, utilizing dark neon coloring and shading to withdraw from the completely dark atmosphere. The visuals above ground are something else, but those under are something to behold as you are forced to try to figure the world out before your eyes as it races past with little explanation until the final moments of the film, explaining only a little piece of the complex world underneath of Us.
Fans of Jordan Peele will not leave disappointed as the man has once again placed his entire being into a film and revealed it to the world. While Get Out was an absolute triumph, Us brings something new and unique to the table that was unexpected of Peele while still maintaining a solid message of good vs. evil. While viewers should go into the film expecting more of a thriller than a horror, it’s a sure thing that sooner or later things are going to scar you within this horrifying reality that Director/Writer Jordan Peele has manufactured.