“Us” Review

Ben Keane

Of all people to become this generation’s Alfred Hitchcock, no one would have guessed it would’ve been “Key & Peele” co founder, Jordan Peele. Then 2017 saw the completely unprecedented success of “Get Out,” which went on to win an Oscar for best original screenplay. “Get Out” was a hit with both critics and audiences, masterfully mixing social commentary with psychological thriller. Peele’s stellar direction is some of the decade’s best and it is reminiscent of titans such as Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and David Fincher. Because of all these factors, “Us” became one of the year’s most anticipated movies. Not only did it live up to expectations, but it may have exceeded them.

The film follows Adelaide(Lupita Nyong’o) and her family played by Winston Dukes, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex as they go to their summer beach house where they come across a family that looks exactly like them. The family invades their house with the hopes of killing them and taking their place in the real world.

It is not fair to compare this film to “Get Out” but they definitely have some similarities. Where “Get Out” was a social commentary with a thriller lying as the background story, “Us” is a straight up horror film, with hints of social commentary once you dive into the intricacies of the plot. The complex story will leave you feeling the need to look up an explanation for the film on YouTube and aching to see it a second time to pick out every small detail and reference Peele so eloquently weaves into the story.

The performances are sublime from everyone involved, without Nyong’o being the standout and very deserving of at least a nomination at next year’s Oscars. Winston Duke continues to establish himself as a name you need to know following up his breakout role in “Black Panther” with an exceptional performance as the comic relief in this movie. Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker do an outstanding job of portraying a rich couple who hate each other more than they love each other and they provide some of the film’s best laughs.

It’s hard to dive into the intricacies of the plot without spoiling the film, so it’s important to know this. If you have yet to see the trailer for this film, don’t watch it, go in completely fresh and allow the movie to unfold in front of your eyes without any prior knowledge. Get ready for an absolutely killer soundtrack and some utterly haunting moments. Finally, keep your eyes open for every easter egg in the background and in dialogue and remember, every detail is important.

Ultimately, “Us” should go down as one of the decades best horror films, with an intriguing plot sure to leave your brain hurting from trying to dissect every detail and superb performances by everyone involved. It’s Peele’s direction that sets the film apart though as he continues to show he is a modern horror mastermind.