“Us” Review

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Jordan Peele definitely delivered on his directorial debut, the critically acclaimed horror film “Get Out.” The 2017 film became one of the highest grossing films of that year, bringing in over $255 million worldwide. Now that 2019 is in effect, Peele keeps us amazed at his gifts as a director. On March 22, he released his second film as a director, “Us.” Peele recruited “Black Panther” stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, who play wife and husband Adelaide and Gabe Wilson. Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex play your typical brother and sister Zora and Jason.

“As you meet them, they’re dysfunctionally functional, and there something so familiar about their banter and quipping,” Nyong’o said in an interview with “Entertainment Weekly.” “And I love setting up that norm and what that does for other paradigms – what is normal and American and then just totally devastating it with the nightmare of the untethering.”

This thrilling horror film follows a family who are vacationing in Santa Cruz, California. The main focal point of the movie is centered around Nyong’o’s character, Adelaide, and her fear of beaches. While in Santa Cruz she begins to relive a traumatic experience from her childhood and it starts to eat at her. As Gabe tries to lighten up the mood, Adelaide confesses her damaging incident from childhood. While explaining to a doubtful Gabe, Jason spots a unwelcoming family of four on their driveway that are identical to them. Called the “Tethered”, this family of doppelgangers begin to bring terror and misery upon the Wilsons and those around them.

“You could argue vice versa, depending on how you spin it,” Peele said in an interview with “USA Today.” “But the Tethered version of me has this sense of mischief, putting an audience through bouts of darkness and trying to get them to derive pleasure from it.”

Throughout the movie, symbolism plays a huge role in finding out the true meanings of what Peele is addressing in the movie. From biblical scriptures to true identity, there are many occuring references that Peele uses in the movie. For example, the Bible verse Jeremiah 11:11 appears in very critical moments in of the movie. Even the names of the members of the Tethered hold some deep meaning. Jason’s cannibalistic, mask-wearing doppelganger, Pluto, is the name for the ruler of the dead, the Greek god of the underworld. Red, Adelaide’s doppelganger, is the one makes us wonder her significance. Red is the only one that can communicate and express emotion in the movie. Peele’s gift in using symbolic meanings are the things that make him an avant-garde director.

“I kind of consider my role as an artist holding a mirror up to the sort of nitty-gritty evils that makes us human,” Peele said. “Because I feel like when we ignore these things, then bad things happen. I’m a truth seeker in my work.”

My rating for this whirlwind film would be a 9 out of 10. The similarities between “Us” and “Get Out” are very noticable and I can’t say that I’d prefer one over the other. Both films portray the psychological difficulties that hinder African-Americans and the current state of our society today. Peele’s use of symbolism and political statements makes his films even more intriguing every time we sit and watch.

As Peele continues to rise as one of the elite film makers in the industry, no one knows what to expect from his next film. “Us” is another wakeup call for our society to truly look at ourselves and destroy our own doppelgangers.

“Jordan’s strength as a filmmaker is that he, first of all, trusts his own creative impulses and trusts his audience to be intelligent enough and really catch onto the layers that he puts into his films,” Nyong’o said. “He gets stuff like that and he expects a lot from his audience, and when you expect a lot from people, they deliver a lot.”

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“Us” Review