written by Kathia Woods
Jordan Peele gave us one of the most compelling movies with "Get Out" helping to redefine the horror genre. "Us" helps further to cement his innovation of the genre.
He's not giving us the in your face obvious terror. He's adding to the Hitchcock narrative however with a modern twist.
When "US" Trailers were first released, everyone was shook by the idea that doppelgangers are terrorizing this family. How do you call for help when the enemy is you?
Not only is it genius but it also allows for an opportunity to have a cultural dare I say political debate.
One family is affluent the other is struggling. One family has the luxury of options while the other family wants a say over their lives.
What makes this movie so amazing are the details? Subliminal messages that come back to haunt the leading family.
It's the orange jumpsuits with the leather sandals that hint at neutrality because after all, they don't have the luxury of fashion.
Lupita Nyong’o is having quite the year, and with "US" she takes another step towards Superstardom.
As Adelaide Wilson, she's protective of her family and as her alto ego she downright terrifying. There are so many things to unpack from her eyes, body language, and that scary voice.
Winston Duke as Gabe Wilson demonstrates that his turn as M'backu wasn't a fluke. In "US" he embodies the middle-class dad. He proudly sports his Howard University sweatshirt while at the same time aspiring to gain all of the trappings of success from a summer home to a boat.
If Lupita and Winston are the anchors of this movie, the kids are the engine.
Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex as Zora and Evan Wilson are amazing. It's hard for adults to convey terror as actors; however, to ask children to invite terror into their being is difficult. These two not only allowed it but added extra elements. As frightening as Lupita was these two were even scarier which seems impossible in a movie that has so many twists and turns. Again it's not the killing but in the subtleties such as facial expressions and body language. There something unsettling but delicious about children being dark.
Nice addition to this cast was Elizabeth Moss as Mrs. Taylor. Moss hot of her successful Hulu series " A Handsmaid Tale" continues to show us that she's come a long way from " Mad Men." Her scenes as her alter ego are some of the evilest ones. I'm also glad that she wasn't omitted in the trailers giving the viewer an additional piece of suspense.
"US" is a horror movie but it almost seems limiting to call it that because it's so much more. It's political, it's cultural, innovative and just a damn good movie. Jordan Peele has accomplished with two films what many directors have failed to do with twenty. He's making statements while entertaining. I also love that he pays attention to details such as having an African-American family that doesn't only have dark skinned parents but the children match the parents' hue. Mainstream films at times lack context; however, this film makes them an integral part of the story.
Also, the feature of the song " I got five on it" adds to the fact that Peele stands firmly in his blackness no explanation needed.
"Us" is the type of movie that we will see over and over again because there is so much to unpack. One viewing isn't enough.