Us: shocking, unnerving, and a must see


Universal Pictures’ Us is heavily influenced by classics “The Shining” and “The Goonies”, but delivers a fresh plot amidst a sea of remakes. Fair use: Instagram

“Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.” -Jeremiah 11:11

This quote is essential in director, writer, and producer Jordan Peele’s creation of Us, a mystery/thriller film starring Luptia Nyong’O, Winston Duke, and Elizabeth Moss. Released March 22, the movie has an impressive $143 million box office within just 15 days, surpassing its budget of $20 million.

The plot follows the Wilson family on their family vacation to Santa Cruz for a seemingly calming holiday weekend. Matriarch Adelaide, played by Nyong’O, senses that something bad will happen on their trip, prompting her reluctance to go to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, despite her husband Gabe’s insistence. This fear is explained by the opening scene of the movie, as the audience sees a young Adelaide in 1986 encounter a doppelgänger in a house of mirrors, leaving her with a crippling PTSD and her silence about the event. The adult Adelaide’s fear is proven true once a family of doppelgängers to the Wilsons appear on their driveway, all with the intent to kill the Wilson family.

The film surely does not disappoint in its frightening, thrilling plot with plenty of shock-factors and plot twists. Rather than focus on violence like many other horror films of today, Us hones in on a psychological fear that will keep you scared for days after watching.

Another interesting feature of the movie that makes Us so terrifying is its tangible, realistic plot. The Wilson family is the embodiment of the classic middle-class American family of four, complete with cringe-worthy dad jokes and teenage angst. So when something extraordinarily horrifying happens to the Wilsons, it almost amps up the fear. If it can happen to this family, what if it can happen to yours?

The actors’ performance is excellent and they are especially successful in playing two characters with polar opposite personalities. Nyong’O, however, leads the film to success by her flawless portrayal of both the protagonist and antagonist.

Us is Jordan Peele’s second movie after Get Out, and further proves Peele’s originality. Both films are packed with hidden meanings and Easter Eggs that go deeper than the plot itself, a Jordan Peele specialty. Us even calls back Get Out in some of its scenes. Many fans think Us comments on the racial prejudices of America just as Get Out does, but others believe the film aims to discuss individuals’ sense of self in the modern world. Whatever the case, Peele masterfully captures the audience in his unique screenplay and creative directing.

I wholeheartedly recommend this film for everyone. I love horror movies, and this one left me fearful to look in the mirror after watching the doppelgänger thriller. Even if you aren’t a horror fanatic, this film might change your mind (and I’d watch it when you can rent it in the comfort of your own home with the lights on).