Us, is a masterpiece of horror suspense, mixing terrific performances, a fresh premise, a haunting score, and visuals that will stick in your mind well after you have left the theater.
Holy hell. I… need to collect myself. Even after a whole evening of time to process what I just watched the brilliance of Us is still taking hold of my brain. Where do I even begin? Well let’s get it out of the way. This is a masterclass horror suspense movie that if you like well crafted art you HAVE to watch this movie. There’s no debating it, you have to.
Us follows Adelaide Wilson, played by the talented Lupita Nyong’o, and her family who are getting terrorized by doppelgangers who want nothing short of their deaths. That’s the simplest way of describing this plot, but it’s so much more. I refuse to spoil anything else about the plot of this movie in specifics, it’s something that everyone should experience for themselves. As the film unravels you learn more and more of the extent of this horror scenario, that it bleeds into a thriller with even more to say. This isn’t just horror for horror’s sake though, there is depth to the journey that Adelaide goes through as the story unfolds. Twists and turns aplenty and it leads to a tense ending that is just… so… great.
I could gush endlessly just on the plot, but this movie has a whole whole lot more going on. Starting with the fact that the main cast are playing two roles throughout the whole film! Lupita Nyong’o deserves award nominations next year for these performances. Every look, every movement, every sound, she delivers a performance I couldn’t take my attention away from. This praise goes out to the rest of the family as well. Winston Duke, who plays Adelaide’s husband Gabe Wilson, is another favorite because of the humor he brings to the table. Which works so beautifully to balance out the pure darkness that the movie would have fallen into. It’s a work of genius by writer/director/producer Jordan Peele that allows the movie to breath and not overwhelm the audience. Rounding out the family are Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, playing the daughter and son of Adelaide respectfully. Evan Alex’s performance of Jason Wilson’s doppelganger Pluto is particularly disturbing.
Excellent plot, superb cast, could there be more? Oh so much more. The score, my god the score, paired with the soundtrack selection this is one of those scores that tells the story just as much as anything else. It sets the mood of each scene perfectly, never feeling out of place or leading you on in an intrusive way. Paired with this is cinematography and shot composition that is a treat to the eyes and mind. Peele littered this movie with easter eggs to so much horror iconography. Which brings me to another point. You can’t just watch it once. Just once you miss out on finding all of these easter eggs, but more importantly you miss out on deconstructing all the visual queues that the movie sets up in leading to the conclusion of the film.
If you are a fan of movies, do yourself a favor and see this movie, give yourself a couple of days, and then see it again. It’s that kind of movie. Now for those with a dislike of horror, this isn’t a pop-up scare movie, or one that just revels in gore. It has balance, almost to a scientific level of precision. So come on, experience Us and then you can thank me later for the recommendation. You’re welcome.