Updated: Mar 25, 2019
Directed by: #JordanPeele
Written by: #JordanPeele
It’s difficult not to have Jordan Peele’s Get Out in your mind as you sit through Us. The stories are far separated, but the sinister tone is consistent and the originality rife. Though a solid and engaging film, Us just doesn’t have quite the same level of personality and small-scale intrigue as Peele’s directorial debut, though it is a very worthy sophomore project all the same.
Described by the director as an out and out horror (given the genre confusion of Get Out), Us focuses on Adelaide and her family who are dealing with the appearance of creepy doppelgängers in their driveway on their family getaway to the beach. As the ‘tethered’ show their murderous motives, as well as the scale of their operation, the family must fight to survive the night.
Whilst Us does so many things well, particularly in the first 2/3rds of the film, the story begins to slip away from itself as it moves into the final act. It is clear at what point the bigger budget sets in and the ideas lose control, though it does manage to keep its creepiness until the final moments.
Lupita Nyong’o is as fantastic as ever in both of her parts, as is the immensely talented Elisabeth Moss. Winston Duke relieves the tension with some genuinely hilarious quips (some very much not so). The kids are fantastic.
Us is not let down by any one of its stars and it will go down as one of the strongest horrors in recent years, but it is not perfect, and the final twist seemed to be screaming at you from the very opening sequence.
The calculated brutality is unmissable and Peele’s clever screen relationship with race continues to work excellently. The maniacal antagonists are terrifying. And as long as you don’t mind the elaborate ideas, overthinking of plot, and lack of satisfactory answers, then Us will be an enjoyable sit through.