Jordan Peele who previously gained huge success with Get Out (2017), is coming back with yet another horror movie, Us. This movie starring Lupita Nyong’o (Black Panther & Star Wars) as Adelaide Wilson, Winston Duke (Black Panther & Avengers: Infinity War) as Gabriel Wilson, Shahadi Wright Joseph (upcoming The Lion King remake) as Zora Wilson, and Evan Alex as Jason Wilson. The story follows this family during their vacation when suddenly, one night, they got attacked by their doppelgängers.
As a huge fan of Get Out (2017), I couldn’t be more excited when I heard the news about this movie. I believe that Jordan Peele could bring something more than just jump scares or terrifying monsters, and I was right. Taking a look at his previous movie, it’s obvious that Jordan Peele was being consistent by bringing deeper issues within his movies. But before we get into the heavier analysis and theories, I want to give a massive appreciation for the multiple brilliant, chilling, and uncomfortably-scary shots throughout this movie. Because hands down, it’s easy to make a jump scare, but to make your audience feel uneasy from a two minutes close-up shot of rabbits? Only geniuses can do that.
Not to mention the casts’ performances in this movie. Playing double characters is surely a huge challenge. How can you convince the audience that they are two different people when they look physically the same? While most people praised the excellent acting from Lupita Nyong’o, not that I disagree, because that stares and voice cracks still haunted me for several days after watching the movie, I’d like to give a special spotlight to Shahadi Wright Joseph! This is my first time to see her performance and it was incredible. At some point, I truly thought that Fake Zora is scarier than Fake Adelaide. Her sly smiles and laughter are certainly something that you won’t easily forget after leaving the cinema.
If you haven’t watched the movie and don’t want to get spoiled, this is a warning for you because the next part will be full of spoilers!
If Get Out (2017) focused on racial issues, Us (2019) was a bit vaguer since it really depends on how you interpreted it. I personally feel that the different scenes in this movie have different meanings, so the whole movie is not really about one particular thing. Starting from the existence of doppelgängers that attacked the Wilson family. Despite being doppelgängers, they actually had their own personalities which represent the nature of human being. You can never truly know someone, as a human has layers of personality which will show up differently around different people or environment. Multiple psychological researches stated that human reacts based on those expectations surrounding them. Aside from the doppelgängers, it can also be seen on how little Adelaide (or should I say little Fake Adelaide) behaved after she came back to her parents. She learned to adjust to her new environments and she learned how to socialize with people. She successfully kept her secret for years, maybe even forgetting the truth about her past, but we can see her true form in the last killing scene when she let off the grunts and animal-like sounds. This shows how someone may change in a new environment, but once they get cornered into their “old” environment, their instinct will take over and spontaneously reacts. I also think this has a strong correlation with the mirror scene, as the mirror represents the hidden personalities and traits that you won’t be able to notice at a glance.
This movie was probably not as heavy as Get Out (2017), but it sure does spark many interesting points. The other message that I got from this movie is about the matter of consumerism and economic inequality. The Wilson family as the main leads came to the Santa Cruz beach and stayed at their summer house. They drove a nice car. They had enough. But, this is until the neighbors showed up being richer, had a better house and even a better boat, which turns out to be the actual reason for Gabe to buy his own boat in the first place. Jealousy is the main motive of their consumerism. Ironically, this is exactly the main reason why doppelgängers came up to the ground and attacked the Wilsons. The feeling of inequality and not getting justice. Again, this is not a critical analysis whatsoever. It’s rather just one of the point that caught my attention and I think it deserves to be discussed more.
There are also multiple Easter Eggs throughout the movie. Did you notice how little Adelaide wearing Michael Jackson – Thriller, shirt? Where, apparently, he wore a red jacket and pants and also one glove in the music video? Did you notice that glove on Fake Adelaide? Which again, apparently, looks very similar to Freddy Krueger’s gloves? Remember that Freddy had burn scars on his face and the same thing can also be found on Fake Jason. The resemblance of burning fire can also be seen on how Fake Jason died. And the obvious one is the scattered appearances of rabbit throughout the movie because the doppelgängers consumed them. Do you spot any other Easter Eggs?
Overall, Us is that kind of movie that you need to watch several times in order to really absorbs any clue that you missed during the first watch, which turns out to be a lot. It was clever, full of controversial issues and deserves spotlight as one of the best horror of the year.
Have you watched this movie? What do you think of it? Do you have any theories that you want to share?
This review can also be found on The Nerd Daily.