Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Review: Jordan Peele continues to redefine horror with 'Us'

Movie: "Us"

Release Date: March 22, 2019

Run Time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Rating: A

A harmless beach vacation to Santa Cruz quickly takes a dark turn when Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) and her family come face to face with cloned versions of themselves. 

The clones are referred to as the tethered, adorned in red suits and carrying pairs of large scissors as weapons. Adelaide’s internal and external conflict with her past and present self plays a key part in her family's survival.

For those familiar with Jordan Peele’s work, the story is never that shallow — there is always a deeper, hidden metaphor behind something that seems superficial. “Get Out” proved this in 2017. Peele's hidden messages compliment the plot of the movie very well with the concept of two versions of one’s self. 

Peele’s mind brings horror to life in a way that's almost realistic, straying away from the jump scares that are typically associated with the paranormal side of horror. This brand of horror is refreshing. The story is haunting in a different way; it leaves lasting imprints that dig much deeper than a jump scare. Peele is not afraid to explore the intersection of genres while simultaneously rewriting them completely. His originality continues to set his work apart from others.

Nyong’o’s performance is, put simply, chilling. Her transformation from worried mother to her unforgivingly evil double makes her feel like two completely different people even though they are exact genetic copies. The way the tethered version of herself maneuvers is an example of the lasting imprint — it is not a jump scare, but it is definitely unsettling to watch.

Supporting characters such as Adelaide's friend Kitty Tyler (Elisabeth Moss) act as comic relief for such a heavy story. The plot has everything a story needs to be fulfilling — frightening content to keep you on the edge of your seat, bone-chilling suspense and even a bit of humor to lighten up the disturbing storyline. The twist at the end, although deserving of more explanation, is completely unexpected and worth the wait.

"Us" opened this past weekend and has already grossed over $70 million, and there are no signs of it slowing down soon. 

The film has now been deemed the highest-grossing R-rated film for an opening weekend. The "Us" reviews, for a horror film, are particularly high, and it's deserving of the acclaim it's receiving. All in all, the film is bound to continue to impress and break barriers; there is no doubt that it will redefine the film industry as a whole.


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