A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright, Evan Alex, and Elisabeth Moss
Directed and written by: Jordan Peele
Coming off of “Get Out,” it appears like Jordan Peele has been anointed the new king of horror. It would be nice to see a few more movies before handing him the crown, but that’s all fine and good. All that really means is that “Us” better be pretty good, which it turns out to be. However, is it better than “Get Out?”
Lets start with giving credit to the cast of the Wilson family for their performances. They’re great in their roles as the average family, but even better when playing their sinister selves. The story really centers on Adelaide Wilson, which really puts the pressure on actress Lupita Nyong’o. She is asked to cover so much ground, and does it perfectly. If you raved about Toni Collette's performance in “Hereditary,” you should be raving about Lupita’s performance as well.
Obviously the doppelgängers put the true horror in this movie. Standing in the shadows, making freaky movements, and especially the creepy looks on their faces is where it all begins. There is plenty of tension, but nothing like when the families sit face-to-face. The audience, like the Wilsons, will be dying to know what they want, and why are they so strange even though they look so similar. Then the movie kicks it into high gear as the worst version of themselves try to take their place in life.
A lot of this movie is going to ride on what the audience thinks of the twist, and the ultimate reason for what happens. Being a true horror fan, shamefully I feel like I should have gotten the main twist a lot sooner. Once again, I was paying attention to other things, and overlooked the obvious. With that, I’ll give Jordan credit for fooling me there. Now as to the reason for it all, that didn’t do much for me. It kind of made me think of some of the strange endings to some M. Knight movies that didn’t turn out so well.
There are reminders of other movies like that “The Strangers” feel when the doppelgängers show up at the house. Lupita’s role also reminded me in some ways of James McAvoy in “Split.” Like in “Get Out,” Jordan continues to use well timed comedy to break the tension. Also, this movie makes a statement, but it might not be as obvious. Is “Us” better than “Get Out”…that will be a great debate, and matter of opinion. What’s true about “Us” is that it’s first and foremost a horror movie that is driven by fabulous performances, plenty of creepiness and tension, and definitely a weird reason behind it all. That is why I might lean towards “Us” in this great debate, and give it 3.5 pools of blood.