Title – Us (2019)
Director – Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Cast – Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker
Plot – A family led by married couple Adelaide (Nyong’o) and Gabe Wilson (Duke) find their lives turned upside down when a group of doppelgangers begin to terrorise them and uproot their idealistic existence.
“If you wanna get crazy, we can get crazy!”
Review by Eddie on 29/03/2019
One of the most unexpected and surprising directional careers continues with Us, a new social commentary horror/thriller from one time comedy kingpin Jordan Peele, who proves once and for all that the worldwide box office and critical success of his debut film Get Out was no fluke.
Taking the well-worn and tiresome home invasion concept and flipping it on its head with a devilishly unique concept filled with doppelgangers, underground horrors and N.W.A, Us sees Peele evolve his filmmaking craft to a new level with his darkly realised vision of America, dastardly humour and ability to create nerve shredding tension on display throughout this cinematically polished outing.
It’s a joy to sit back and witness Peele create the mood and tension that drives Us through its two hour runtime, from an eerily ominous opening in a 1986 Santa Cruz beach-side, its home invasion with a difference through to its bonkers/brilliant final act, Us is the type of film that can only be made by a director with confidence in their intent, that is most surely evident throughout Peele’s wild ride with Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke’s Adelaide and Gabe Wilson and their children Zora and Jason as the seemingly everyday American family find themselves terrorised by horrific versions of themselves.
The idea the drives Us is quite out there but thanks to the conviction of Peele and his cast, who all get to play double duties as their normal everyday selves and horrifying counterparts (that grunt, crawl and genuinely behave very badly) you barely get a moments respite from the terror of the situation that never lets up once it arrives on one quiet night in the neighbourhood.
Much like he did with Get Out, unearthing a career making turn from Daniel Kaluuya, Peele extracts a fantastic central turn from Nyong’o in particular who excels in her duel role as Adelaide and Red. Both menacing, vulnerable and totally in control, it’s the type of genre turn that elevates proceedings to the next level and one of those performances that helps Us become the memorable outing it is.
There’s no doubt Us sees Peele grow as a director (a sequence featuring a Beach Boys classic as its core is likely to remain one of the year’s best individual scenes), his ambition is on show throughout, the pacing is methodically plotted out, the tension constantly there and his storytelling more layered than even Get Out and you get the sense that as his confidence grows as both a man in the director’s chair and the man behind the story, Peele’s career as a Hollywood filmmaker is likely to be one of the most fruitful and interesting of the modern era.
Final Say –
You may’ve seen films like Us but there’s no doubt Peele has crafted a unique, thrilling and frightfully entertaining horror outing that feels like an entirely new beast. Filled with solid acting turns, moody and abundant atmosphere and some wildly inventive ideas, Us is a film deserving of its success and further proof that Peele has quickly become one of the most interesting filmmakers currently operating.
4 Home Alone references out of 5