If you told me 10 years ago that Jordan Peele would be a spectacular filmmaker that effortlessly blends social commentary and elements of terror together, I’d say you were crazy. I’d go on to say that Jordan Peele is a comedian—albeit a hilarious comedian—that kills it every week on Mad TV, not a filmmaker, and damn sure not a master of horror. However, after Mad TV and Key and Peele’s respective runs ended, Jordan surprised us all with Get Out, and now he’s struck gold again with Us.
Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family, who take a summer vacay to Santa Cruz, CA, the location of Adelaide’s old family home. Adelaide is a bit uneasy about the trip due to a traumatic event she experienced there as a child, and her unease continues to heighten as the day rolls on. It raises to a boil once she and her husband find a family outside the house later that night, threatening to invade their home. What’s even more frightening is that the family that eventually takes over the house are the Wilson’s doppelgangers.
You’re probably thinking what one of my co-workers said when I gave her the breakdown, “I got all that from the trailer!” Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about the overall plot without spoiling the movie, and trust me, you don’t want this movie to be spoiled for you. I greatly enjoyed Us. I didn’t expect the film to be another Get Out—and it isn’t—and I ended up adoring what it is: a creepy and nail-biting science fiction tale. I have admit, I didn’t like it quite as much as Get Out, but that’s not to say the movie is weak. It was just the opposite, actually. I didn’t really catch the social commentary in it at first, but after checking out some other videos further explaining the symbolism and deeper themes, I got it. Unlike Get Out, which focused on race relations and white liberalism, Us explores the subject of materialism and taking small things for granted. I really want to watch the film again with new eyes to catch a lot of the things that I missed.
As usual, Lupita killed it. I also loved Winston Duke as Adelaide’s clueless husband, Gabe. In case you’re wondering who Winston Duke is, he played M’Baku in Black Panther. Gabe’s character is a complete 180º from M’Baku, and it really shows Winston’s range. All the actors had great performances, and coupled with the intense plot and symbolism throughout, it proves that Jordan Peele is a force to be reckoned with in the genre of horror as well as overall film making.
To be honest, I don’t have anything bad to say about this film, other than it comes in a close second to Get Out, which remains Jordan Peele’s magnum opus. I’ve noticed that some folks in my neck of the woods have been saying that Us was a grave disappointment, and one of the first things they do is compare it to Get Out. I believe these folks went into the theatre expecting a Get Out clone. Don’t do that. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice and setting yourself up for disappointment. It’s basically like watching Jackie Brown expecting an exact double (pun slightly intended) of Pulp Fiction. Yeah, I agree that Get Out was the better movie between the two, but I also believe I was able to get a lot of satisfaction out of Us due to the fact that I didn’t expect to be a replica of its predecessor.
Y’all, go check this film out. It’s already made back its budget and then some, so that should tell you something. Just be sure to go into the theatre with an open mind. If you do that, and take the film for what it is—which is excellent—you’ll have a great experience.
—Written by Nadiya
What did you think about Us? Was it as good as Get Out? Was it better? Did you expect Us to be just like Get Out, or did you expect it to be an entirely different film? Did you catch all the themes throughout the film? Would you consider Jordan Peele to be a new master of horror/film making, or should he go back to comedy? Let me know in the comments section!