Jordan Peele takes horror to a new level with his new movie entitled Us. The story is centered around the the Wilson family and the mother Adelaide’s trauma as a child. The family takes a vacation where Adelaide is uncomfortable and triggered by their surroundings.
Adelaide’s seemingly irrational paranoia is soon brought to light when a family looking just like the Wilsons, and labeled as “the tethered”, breaks into their vacation home and the real horror begins.
The film starts out as an average scary movie but then turns into much more as Adelaide’s character develops through the use of flashbacks. It takes a more humorous tone that lightens up the terror of the plot. After the plot begins to develop, the film goes from horror to suspense as curiosity builds. In the true Jordan Peele fashion, the film ended up being more thought provoking than “scary”.
Peele offers symbolic foreshadowing throughout the film. Compared to his ground breaking film Get Out, the symbolism is more convoluted and not as obvious as to what he is referencing. Although still overt, Peele leaves the imaginations of the audience to connect any dots as far as relation to reality.
Us takes many turns revealing surprise after surprise and horror after horror. Just as the family seems to take ten steps forward, they walk straight into a new house of horrors. This comedic horror gives the audience a breather with a few laughs while leading them straight down another rabbit hole (literally).
Peele uses rabbits as another means of symbolism. The movie had numerous reoccurring themes of scissors, Hands Across America, a haunting version of Luniz’s song “I Got 5 On It”, and Jeremiah 11:11.
Unlike his film Get Out, Peele stated that the film was not about race, even though its centered around African American family, in a genre that is usually centered around Caucasian families. The film seems to be a statement about Americans, although the statement itself is unclear. Mashable states that Peele has encouraged moviegoers to come to their own conclusions about what it is all alluding to.
Overall, Us was meticulously and artistically done with hidden meanings and amazing acting. Academy awarding winning actress Lupita Nyong’o delivers an amazing performance as Adelaide and her “tethered” doppelgänger. By playing them both she offers a wide variety of emotion and personality ranging from evil to terrified.
It is chilling and provocative to see the family fight and try to escape the doubles of themselves who literally identified themselves as “Americans”. It brings into question whether Peele’s criticism was relating the “tethered”-ness to us as individuals or to us as Americans.
At the very least, viewers will leave theaters shocked by plot twists and ready to discuss the many allusions within the film. Although not being extremely scary, Us was both thrilling and extremely thought provoking.