Jordan Peele has done it again. After the huge success of his movie “Get Out” that released in February of 2017, expectations were high when looking towards what his next release might be. “Get Out” is a satirical horror film dealing with racial discrimination and divides. The movie was a hit and led to Peele winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, becoming the first African-American director/writer to be victorious in that category. Earlier this year, he announced that his next horror film, “Us,” would be another “social” horror film and would feature stars like Lupita Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss. Fans were worried that nothing could begin to compare to how well-done “Get Out” had been, but so far audiences have come forward with praise. I decided to go with a few friends to see for myself.
The scariest part of this movie is the overall concept of it. If you’re looking for a movie with a ton of jump scares, gore and typical horror movie cliches, you’re not going to find it here. The basic idea of the film is that while we are busy living our lives among other people, things, events and so on, there’s a kind of parallel universe in which our doppelgangers live our exact same lives, except without feeling, events, or anything else required to live a decent and fulfilling life. The movie starts out with a little girl at a carnival with her parents, playing games and riding the rides. She ends up wandering off into a funhouse ironically called “Find Yourself,” and runs into a little girl who looks identical to her. The doppelganger greets her with an off-putting smile which becomes a familiar sight to the audience throughout the rest of the movie.
The film then moves forward to the present day, in which the little girl is all grown up and has her own family. It’s hinted, through the use of flashbacks, that she still feels consequences from the run-in with herself when she was a child. The movie continues until one night, her son runs into her room and tells her that there is a family standing in the driveway. Immediately upon the camera panning to the family, you can tell they are identical to the actual family – the husband, the son and the daughter. Thus ensues the battle between the two families, immediately followed by them escaping to their friends’ house to find that the case seems to be that everyone has an identical copy of themselves set to kill, as they walk in to find a murderfest, their friends being the victims. It soon comes to the light, after they turn on the news, that everyone’s “other self” has been attacking and stabbing people all night. The family makes their escape.
Toward the end, Jordan Peele pulled off a plot twist that I truly did not see coming. After the two mom figures face off in a final battle, and what we think is the real mom kills off the doppelganger, there’s a flashback. When the little girl ran into herself at the carnival, the doppelganger who was sick of living the tortured lives that the doppelgangers seem to live, attacked the real girl, tied her up in the doppelgangers world, and then seemingly took her place. The movie ends with the mom smiling that same offputting smile that we saw in the beginning and her son catches the smile, clearly remembering the doppelgangers smile, gets the first clue that something is wrong.
I’m a big fan of movies that leave me thinking for a while, and “Us” definitely accomplished that. The idea of having someone who looks identical to me, living my life, without everything needed to actually live life in a fulfilling way makes me shudder a little bit. The movie was cast perfectly and ended up making $70 million on opening weekend, with a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. With two iconic movies under his belt so far, Jordan Peele is killing the game, and I hope to see more from him in the near future.