By James Davidson
Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) has been haunted by a memory of the same beach when she was a child. Adelaide snuck away from her parents and into a strange haunted mirror house where she encounters a girl that looks exactly like her. The encounter terrifies young Adelaide so much that she is left mute. Years later, Adelaide returns to the same beach with her husband, Gabe (played by Winston Duke) and two children Zora and Jason, for vacation. After a day at the beach with friends, the Wilsons return to their beach house. All of a sudden, a strange family that is identical to the Wilsons appear and begin terrorizing them and attempting to kill them.
This is Jordan Peele’s much anticipated sophomore film. Following the success of “Get Out”, I was looking forward to see if this movie could live up to the hype. I’m not a huge fan of horror movies, I think most of them sacrifice a good story for unsettling imagery and a few, cheap, jump scares. I also feel that most of them are incredibly predictable as well. Jordan Peele set himself apart with “Get Out”; that movie was genuinely creepy, but still had a great story and “Us” kept up that up.
Lupita Nyong’o sets the bar for this movie with a stunning dual performance. She plays Adelaide Wilson, as well as her creepy doppelganger, known as Red. The two share a strange connection as Red explains that she and all of the other doppelgangers are “tethered” to their look-alikes. We eventually find out that there are many doppelgangers, or “Tethered”, who have been living underground. The Tethered are all attacking their twins on the same night with Red as the leader.
I really enjoyed the writing, which was also done by Peele, in this film. The story takes many unexpected twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Peele does an incredible job at presenting a fresh, new look at the horror genre. The movie doesn’t fall into the stereotypical horror cliches. It’s unpredictable and doesn’t rely on “jump scares” or disturbing images to creep out its audience.
Peele also doesn’t feel the need to spell everything for his audience either. He does a great job at presenting just enough information to the audience without pandering to them. A lot of the movie is left up to interpretation. I really liked the opportunity to fill in some of the blanks for myself. I think it really increases the rewatchability of this movie.
“Us” is rated R for violence/terror and language. This movie does have a bit of violence and gore in it, so it probably wouldn’t be appropriate for children. But it is a great movie for a friends’ night out.
“Us” is a fresh, new take on a horror movie. If you were a fan of “Get Out”, or of the horror genre, you should definitely see this movie. If you aren’t a big fan of the horror genre, you still might like this different spin on horror films. It has fantastic acting and a compelling story with fantastic writing. I will definitely be adding this movie to my collection when it comes out on DVD. It earns 4 out of 5 stars.