Review: Jordan Peele delivers another masterful horror film with ‘Us’


Courtesy of Blumhouse

Andrew Lang

Following an iconic debut film in “Get Out,” Director Jordan Peele stuck with the horror genre with his latest movie, “Us.”

The story follows the Wilson’s as a trip to the beach finds the family confronted by copies of themselves who harbor a murderous intent. As the Wilson family struggles to survive, more and more is revealed as to who these doppelgängers are, as well as their origins.

All the major characters’ actors play double duty, playing both themselves and their evil clones.

Two prominent “Black Panther” actors play the parents in the Wilson family. Lupita Nyong’o delivers a masterful performance as the main character of the story, Adelaide Wilson, and her evil copy, Red. Winston Duke plays the father Gabe, who often serves in a more comedic role, and his doppelgänger, Abraham.

Shahadi Wright Joseph plays the phone-obsessed teenage daughter Zora and her clone, Umbrae. Evan Alex plays their quiet son who wears a Chewbacca mask and enjoys playing with a lighter, Jason, as well as the evil double, Pluto.

While the whole family serves as the main characters, it’s Adelaide’s story the movie focuses on, with her experience first encountering a doppelgänger as a child shown to us in a series of flashbacks. It is her unease that lets the audience know that something isn’t quite right.

Likewise, Adelaide’s counterpart serves as the main villain in her gang of off-kilter copies.

Peele uses sound masterfully in this film, manipulating the viewers emotions with the movies score in several ways, both heightening the tension at times and alleviating it at others.

“Us” will have you laughing one scene and scared the next. It mixes in dark comedy well without overshadowing the horror element of the story.

“Us” also does a great job of bringing things full circle. Things you see early in the film often come back around to affect the film in a different way near the end. It rewards you for paying attention to every little detail.

However, one difference between this movie and “Get Out” is that “Us” doesn’t do as effective of a job in making the horror seem as inherently natural. “Get Out” struck at a fear that felt like it had always been there without realizing it, whereas “Us” tries to establish that fear and then strike at it. It does a good job of this, but it is inherently less effective.

While this movie doesn’t live up to the sky-high bar “Get Out” set, Peele proves he’s a master of the horror genre by delivering a good film that manages to entertain and terrify, explain and confuse and make the audience happy and unsettled all at the same time.

The movie is absolutely worth seeing. It may not be a cultural touchstone like “Get Out” was, but it is a well told story that keeps you invested throughout its entire two-hour runtime.

Illustration by Ariel Landry