Review - Us

by David Gifford

 

Us is the newest film from director Jordan Peele who took the horror universe by storm with Get Out, and is already known for his deliberate filmmaking that uses a lot of unique and creative horror sequences.

Us stars Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther) as Adelaide Wilson, Winston Duke (Black Panther) as Gabe Wilson, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Zora Wilson, and Evan Alex (Kidding) as Jason Wilson.

The movie follows the Wilson family, who are trying to enjoy their vacation, but when people who look just like them come to find them, then their vacation is thrown into shambles.

The movie’s plot is one that is hard to get into without spoiling it, so I will say that this is a horror film about “doppelgängers” hunting down versions of themselves. The story is fairly layered and complex, so it’s best to go into this one blind.

Us is very much unlike Get Out, where the focus was on using a horror film as a vehicle to talk about race relations in the United States. Us has social commentary and a lot of things to say, but those messages are hidden underneath the story and require a lot of thought after the movie is over. People who view movies just as entertainment in the moment will likely find a decent horror film, but its subtle messages and story make it the masterpiece that it is. Just know that it is worth paying attention and discussion after the movie is over (if you are interested in discussing the inner messages of the film or feel confused, I love to talk about movies so send me an email).

The movie’s strongest aspect is its performances. Every actor in this movie plays an difficult role in the film, and be it funny or horrific, the movie balances those tones well. Lupita Nyong’o in particular is a master class, and her performance both gave me chills and made me really care about her. Since doppelgangers are going after the family it requires each actor or actress to play two very different roles. You begin to care about one family then it turns around and you afraid of them all at the same time. The performances are Oscar worth no doubt, let’s just hope that eventually the Academy voters will stop wrongfully hating a genre that has done so much for cinema history.

The story here was also something that really interested me. Jordan Peele has already been compared to Alfred Hitchcock in the way that every scene that he directs is purposeful. Many of the directors in cinema today produce cool-looking shots mainly as something to view. Each scene in this movie was like a mini-story. I see film as art and I like the films to be something that I think about for weeks. Us is a movie that begs for discussion, so take some friends and figure out what the movie says to you through discussion of film which is really important.

To be clear, Us is a horror film. This isn’t a “social thriller” like some will want to call it. Horror has been marginalized for far too long, and Jordan Peele is starting to change people’s minds towards it. Today it is becoming increasingly hard to say “good for a horror movie.” The conversation now is whether or not it is a good movie, which is important to people in a community of fans that have been put down for their enjoyment of one of the world’s most influential filmmaking genres.

All of this is to say that Us continues to pave the way for horror films to appeal to mainstream and art-house audiences, and will likely captivate audiences in some way or another. Confusion isn’t always a bad thing; it makes you think about the film that you just saw for a long time, which speaks to the movie’s quality.

Just know that Us isn’t all that gory, but if you are averse to the horror genre you might not like it. .

Us is a movie I can’t get out of my head. I plan to see it several more times in its theatrical lifecycle. It’s likely one that people will be talking about, so see it as early as possible so they can’t spoil it for you.

Us gets a 10/10 and it will take a pretty stunning film to beat this one out as the best picture of the year.

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David Gifford is a sales representative with The Mountain Echo and a gaming and movie enthusiast.