Us – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Us – The Horrors of Identity

From the on goings of reality to the sensations of the unknown, the slight tinge of tense emotions can cause us to think of something scary.  When you think about horror, the thoughts that pertain to storytelling is linked to those tense moments.  From the common slasher films, the mind-bending psychological thrillers to the encapsulation of the supernatural, if it can make you scream or feel uneasy, it strikes that idea of horror.  In his second outing, Jordan Peele delves deep into equivocal themes, unhinging moments and gruesome unpredictability.  Even with slight unexplained plot motives, Us is a horror that delivers on what truly defines the genre. 

The film follows a family as they head to their summer vacation home.  Once there, Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) begins to have eerie premonitions of her childhood.  From here, the film begins to unveil the mysteries of the unknown.  When the threat of doppelgangers comes to face Adelaide and her family, the journey leads down a crazed, unexpected journey.  As these people attack, the story slowly unfolds through thematic elements and tonal exposition.  The idea of coming to face identical people can be eerie, but the dynamic of that mirrored reflection creates a heaviness that is usually drawn out through common genre tropes and directional scare tactics.  Instead of relying on the obvious, Peele puts forth the ideas to the audience, guiding us through ambiguous detail and slow reveals.  This allows for the moments to shine, character interactions to feel uneasy and the dynamic of ‘shock’ and ‘terror’ to feel ironically familiar.  The film blends suspense and drama with horror, but as Wilsons try to survive, the unpredictability of ‘what happens next’ pushes the genres into its own unique plain.

Once in the second half, all the mysterious are halfway revealed.  Without going into any spoilers, the face of horror becomes relevant through identity and social themes.  This actuality of the situation brings to question the truth of the doppelgangers, drawing a haze of morality that shadows our own reality.  By presenting an ominous nature of subjects, it allows Peele to get away with some plot devices that would be considered convenient.  From this point till the epilogue, it is all left for the audience to decide.  By having things unexplained, it is all a matter of opinion of what truly horror is.  Us is a film that push ideas and characters through a narrative that is somewhat elusive of answers, but it creates a suspenseful journey that pushes the genre to the extreme.  If you’re a fan of horror or what Jordan Peele has done so far, this is one for you.  I say it is worth the full price, I recommend seeing this in theaters.

Final Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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