Us (2019) – Movie Review

Photo+credit+to%3A+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Us (2019) – Movie Review

Photo credit to:

Photo credit to:

Daniel Benavides

Photo credit to:

Daniel Benavides

Daniel Benavides

Photo credit to:

Will Ingman, Staff Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On March 22nd, 2019, writer-director, actor, and former comedian Jordan Peele released his sophomore film, Us, to worldwide theatres. Earlier in the month, the film had premiered at SXSW 2019 on March 9th, garnering critical acclaim as the flagship film of the festival. As of April 3rd, 2019, Us has grossed an impressive $135,000,000, nearly double that of Get Out.

But what made Us so successful? It starts nearly 60 years before Us premiered, with a Twilight Zone episode titled “Mirror Image”. This episode, featuring a girl being pursued by an exact copy of her, served as Peele’s primary source of inspiration while writing the initial drafts. Additional inspiration was drawn from everything from The Shining to A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Set in Santa Cruz, California, Us follows a suburban family on a vacation at their beach house. Matriarch Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), who had previously experienced a bizarre and traumatic event at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, is hesitant to let loose, but her husband Gabriel (Winston Duke) encourages her to relax, driving to the Boardwalk to meet with their friends Josh (Tim Heidecker) and Kitty Tyler (Elisabeth Moss). As their children Jason (Evan Alex) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) mingle with the Tylers’ children and other beachgoers, Jason encounters a strangely-dressed man standing still at the beach, with one hand dripping blood into the sand. After the family returns home, Adelaide begins to suffer from the effects of acute stress, right before a family resembling them appears in their driveway. The strangers attack and capture the Wilson family, beginning a chaotic series of events that ends with the family escaping on Gabriel’s boat, only to find they were not the only family with a series of murderous doppelgangers.

In his writing process, Jordan Peele featured several otherwise unassuming concepts that take a new, horrifying turn within the context of the film. For example, the 1986 charity demonstration Hands Across America, an event in which 6.5 million people across the continental U.S linked hands to form a human chain across the country, becomes a symbol closely associated with the mysterious Tethered doppelgangers. By the end of the film, the very image of two people linking hands gains a threatening connotation. Additional bits of pop culture, whether it be the Michael Jackson t-shirt worn by Adelaide in flashbacks or the positively terrifying remix of Luniz’s hit song “I Got 5 On It”, are sprinkled throughout the film, giving a comedic shadow to the visceral and violent horror.

However, Us isn’t just a horror-comedy with close ties to pop culture. Aspects of the movie, both large and small, stand as statements Peele makes to society. For example, his choice to feature a somewhat-wealthy, suburban black family as the stars of a horror film, where many others would write in a purely White cast (see: The Strangers, The Purge, You’re Next) serves to break down many race-related tropes in the horror genre. These subversive themes even give a nod to Peele’s last film, the equally impactful Get Out, when the Wilson family’s patriarch shows absolute faith in the police’s ability to resolve their situation.

Unfortunately, this becomes the area in which Us falls flat. While it is, by all metrics, a phenomenal film, it just isn’t Get Out. Often, a director’s sophomore film is expected to surpass their first endeavour, and Us cannot stand up to that expectation. It is weighed down by too many plot conveniences, a poorly established mythos that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and an absolutely unnecessary ending. Still, it’s a movie well worth your time.

 

Final Rating: 8.8/10

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Will Ingman, Staff Editor

High school Junior. First year staff.
I co-wrote an article for Fast Company once, I swear.
Probably going to college for journalism. No idea what to...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    Spider Verse

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    Boys & Girls Club Hip-Hop Dance Class

  • Entertainment

    The Little Mermaid

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Commentary

    Behind the Curtain at The Little Mermaid

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    A Visit from Author Erika L. Sánchez

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    The Creator of Sponge-Bob Passed Away

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: Movie Review

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    Easy Recipe for Mac and Cheese

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    Austin City Limits 2018

  • Us (2019) – Movie Review

    Entertainment

    FIFA 19…The best FIFA yet?

Navigate Right
Us (2019) – Movie Review