Written by: Alisha “Sphynx” Adetoro
Jordan Peele set high expectations for the standard of his work with ‘Get Out’ in 2017 which made $33 million on its debut and $255 million in total worldwide sales with only a $4.5m budget for production. So naturally, people have been excitedly anticipating what he would do next.
His follow up film Us was released in the UK on the 22nd March and falls under the American horror genre. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as part of a family of four who are on a trip to their beach house. Things take a turn for the worse when the family is confronted by a sinister terrifying group of strangers who look just like them.
Without ruining the plot too much for those of you who are yet to watch Us, in the film we learn the doppelgängers are part of a group called ‘The Tethered’. I won’t explain the name or the motives of this terrifying group but what I will say is once ‘The Tethered’ attack, the movie really gets going with plenty of scares that really doesn’t stop.
Us doesn’t follow the usual rules of the horror genre of using jump scares to relieve the tension. Instead, it relies on the humorous input from Winston Duke as his character Gabe. Winston adds a lot of heart to his performance and it really comes across as Gabe is a father who cannot believe his eyes but is willing to do what he can to protect his family.
Lupita gives a stunning performance playing both Adelaide and her tethered doppelgänger Red. Lupita’s performance gives plenty of depth to both characters and her portrayal of both characters lets them develop throughout the film in unexpected ways.
Although the film stars a black family as the lead characters, Peele has said that the film isn’t about race. The intention of the film is to show how we can be our own worst enemies, however personally I do feel this is another example of how Peele has opened doors for black actors in the horror genre.
It’s very refreshing to see a horror film where the cast doesn’t consist of one token black person who has no real character depth and dies fairly soon in the film. As to be expected, the film has a multitude of subliminal messages throughout the film but they aren’t quite as obvious as in ‘Get Out’. It’s also quite possible you might be too scared to really understand the depth the film brings, this may well be a film that requires a few watches to truly understand the hidden messages.
As the film climaxes there is a truly explosive scene set to an orchestral ‘I got 5 on it’, when the film does come to an end there are a lot of unanswered questions. This leaves individual viewers to make their own minds up about what was going on and provides lots of room to debate theories with friends.
Overall, I think this was a well thought out and very terrifying follow-up film from Jordan Peele.
Have you seen Us yet? If you have let us know your thoughts and comment below.