Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Us follows a family – Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), Gabe (Winston Duke), Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and Jason (Evan Alex) – on a serene beach vacation to Santa Cruz. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing this since it’s release earlier this year and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Whilst I enjoyed Get Out, it was so hyped up that my late viewing of it didn’t live up to the excitement when I finally got around to watching it, so I was worried that the same would happen with this film. But I think Us is a lot more about how you interpret it personally, and after having a think and read about the final scenes since watching it last night, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m even more impressed now that I’ve had time for it to come together in my head.
The only thing that I was having a problem with was the final twist at the end. At first, I wasn’t able to piece together how this would work properly/if it was a valid concept or just a final push for a big shock. But then I read a great article on Collider which made me realise how brilliant this twist was. The website comments that: “The reason the doubles are ‘soulless’ isn’t because the soul couldn’t be copied, but because they never had a chance at one in the first place.”
And that really helped me to piece it together for me. The concept of nature vs nurture and how our surroundings and privileges, things that we don’t necessarily have a choice in, shape who we become. It’s rare that a film explores the lack of choice we have in whether we are the good guy or the villain, so I think it’s amazing how Jordan Peele does this.
I was expecting a little more gore, but it is the brilliant performances that make this film so creepy. At one point, I had to go into my kitchen and face a set of double patio doors, and I really didn’t want to look outside into the dark garden just in case there was another me staring back at me. It’s certainly a very effective horror and Lupita Nyong’o deserves all the praise, although the younger actors are also brilliant.