Just one glance at the movie poster, and the viewer can already tell that the tone of the film will be something more of a thriller or horror. The movie poster features a person in a red jumpsuit holding a pair of golden scissors with one gloved hand and this already gives the audience an ominous feeling about what to expect from the movie. This movie was directed by Jordan Peele, who made the critically acclaimed ‘Get Out’ in 2017 where the movie talked about modern-day racism in America.
After watching ‘Get Out’ and enjoying it tremendously, I could not wait for director Jordan Peele’s next project. When the new trailer for ‘Us’ was released, the plot shown was something that had been talked about before in previous movies which was on human cloning but there were not many movies that have used that concept to direct something so thrilling and complex. The concept may not be new to some of us sci-fi or horror fans but the plot and the way Peele structured the whole film made the whole plot seem fresh and new. There have been countless horror movies released throughout the year but most were just geared towards jump scares and bad plots but ‘Us’ definitely did not feel that way.
This movie is indeed much creepier than its predecessor, all thanks to Lupita Nyong’O’s masterful performance as both the protective mother, Adelaide and the unsettling creepy tethered version of herself, Red. She was able to channel very different emotions in the audience through these two roles in the movie. She commanded the movie when she was Red with her extremely memorable way of speaking that makes her stand out amongst horror movie actresses. I remember audiences gasping when they first heard her character’s voice, it was something so different and frightening. Her way of speaking definitely added to the overall unsettling atmosphere of the movie and her character’s creepiness. There has never been a voice like that used for any movies that I have seen, unless they were digitally created or enhanced.
However, the other actors that acted alongside Lupita Nyong’O as her on-screen family members also deserve huge praise as well. First off is Winston Duke, who acted in one of the biggest Marvel blockbusters of 2018 as M’Baku. The performance given by Winston Duke here was more on the comical side, with Duke acting as the comic relief for particularly tense scenes with his bad questions and dad jokes whereas as his tethered self Abraham, he terrifies with his towering height and loud harsh grunts. Shahadi Wright Joseph did a superb job as both Zora and her tethered form, Umbrae whose creepy smile definitely terrified a few movie-goers. This is also Shahadi’s first major role in a box office thriller. Evan Alex portrayed Jason and Pluto, his scarred tethered version who was always clad in a white robber-like mask.
At the start of the movie, we are introduced to young Adelaide and her family at a carnival where she wanders off by herself after her mother leaves to use the bathroom and her dad was occupied with a carnival game. It started to pour heavily when she found refuge in a attraction off the main pier- which appears to be a hall of mirrors – where as she stumbles around she comes face to face with something extremely terrifying – her doppelgänger.
The movie then takes us back to present day where the Wilson family is heading to their vacation home. Adelaide is now a grown woman with children of her own but her childhood trauma still makes her anxious and afraid to go back to the Santa Cruz beach. Her husband, Gabe, thinks that she is overreacting and reassures her that nothing will happen and persuades her to ease up so their children can enjoy the beach and they can meet up with their old friends, the Tyler family. However, Adelaide starts to worry more as strange coincidences keep happening and her fears are starting to materialize. Their holiday peace is ruined when a most unlikely set of trespassers lined up across their driveway: doppelgängers of themselves and they have come above land after decades of hiding underground to reclaim their lives and what is rightfully theirs.
Compared to its predecessor, ‘Get Out’, Us was more adventurous when it came to the plot and more fictional than the real life issue of liberal racism that was shown in ‘Get Out’. That was one of the reasons why the movie scored mixed reviews from critics. Most of them noted that the movie had a solid story but the execution left a lot of questions to be answered such as how does the control element work and how
Most of the questions were aimed at the movie’s “Tethered” concept, how exactly do they copy the actions of their doppelgängers above land, is there some sort of item that makes them comply to re-enact every action? Or do they copy it due to sharing the same DNA? These questions unanswered can make the movie plot seem flimsy and underdeveloped.
Overall, the movie was a great watch, the whole atmosphere of the movie was really unsettling and frightening without needing to use jump scares or loud sounds. The plot may have been a little incomplete, however that should not stop you from watching this movie. Both films have their own unique differences so comparing them does not seem right and they should be enjoyed as separate pieces of work. This movie again, also requires multiple viewings to notice the tiny extra details placed in by the producer but despite some flaws, it is a memorable movie and Jordan Peele’s name will be remembered as one of the more daring directors in Hollywood.
Rating : 8.5/10