Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Movie Review of Us

Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson's doppelganger Red in Jordan Peele's Us
    Claudette Barius / Universal

Us Is Jordan Peele's Horror Masterpiece    

When it comes to horror movie genre, just two movies into his directorial career Jordan Peele is already an Oscar-winning highly acclaimed Master of Horror. His follow-up to the widely acclaimed Get Out, is a no holds barred suspenseful and shocking horror film Us. The story line is highly original with plenty of twists and turns, where just when the audience believe they have a handle of what's going on, the movie blindsides them yet again. It would be good enough to have a horror movie of this caliber have its core elements of suspense, shock, disguised plot twists, and gore. But this movie isn't just good enough, it resides firmly in cinematic greatness territory.

Beyond the horror, Jordan Peele also carries Us on a dark satire of a journey of how we, as different classes of society, treat each other. Where sometimes the different classes don't see each other at all, at other times one class completely ignores the others' existence. Despite all that, the film leads the audience to realize that we as people regardless of class are still the same. Finally when pushed beyond the breaking point, the abandonment of one class of a society can have dire consequences for everyone. 

The movie Us centers around the story of Adelaide Wilson, played by Lupita Nyong'o. We first see her as a little girl who disobeyed her parents and ran off into the carnival house of mirrors having a frightful experience, then as an adult fearing for the safety of her own family. All the while the feeling of the fright night as a child horrifies her, as though she expects a reckoning yet to come. Her worst fears come to life, as a red-clad foursome invade her family's summer getaway. But that is only the beginning of the horror yet to come.

Us... And Us In Red

When we first see Adelaide as an adult, she is now vacationing with her family on a beachfront resort. She and her husband Gabe, played by Winston Duke, meet up with another couple they have been casual friends through the years as they spend time on the beach. The aforementioned sense of reckoning is disturbing her, and Adelaide is unable to relax. Her tension overflows when her son Jason, played by Evan Alex, wanders off near a familiar house of mirrors. Us is very heavy on foreshadowing, as the audience see the same biblical reference that the young Adelaide first saw as a little girl - Jeremiah 11:11. 

To spare everyone a refresher course on the Old Testament, that verse basically means that bad things are going to happen and God will ignore all prayers. Sure enough, at 11:11pm, Us turns up the stakes as the mysterious foursome shows up as silent silhouettes on the Wilsons' driveway. They soon discover that the four red-clad jumpsuit wearing people are a doppelganger set of Adelaide, Gabe, Zora, and Jason - the Wilson family. Peele perfectly shocks the audience with these silent assailants, and the tension continues, as only Adelaide's doppelganger Red can speak, albeit in a raspy limited voice. 

Us In A Fight For Survival 

As Red begins to explain to Adelaide, she refers to the doppelganger family as the 'tethered', as if the Wilsons and their doppelgangers are actually tied to each other in some way. This goes well along the lines of Jordan Peele's social commentary in Us, of a class struggle - where one group of people prospers, while the other is dismissed and struggles in the dark. All that pent up resentment that the doppelganger family feels has boiled over, and they have come carrying scissors to achieve the freedom they crave via 'untethering'. At this point in the movie, the family members and their doppelgangers pair off, and an individual fights for survival ensue. 

As the fights progress, the real Us of Wilson family gains the upper hand and choose to escape to their friends' house. This is where the Wilsons realize that the struggle they are experiencing is not limited to them alone. I will cut off all the reveals here, as there's still a lot left to digest. But there are still a few twists for you, the viewer, left to discover on your own. Let's just say that the movie Us is a dark satire of discontent and, in some respects, a warning to all people that we must all fight to eradicate the scale of inequality in our society, or we are all doomed. In that sense, Us is a fitting title to this movie, as that word in itself doesn't distinguish class - it is all inclusive. 

Jordan Peele's Crowning Achievement

In the end after all the masterfully crafted horror, tension, and gore, Us actually symbolizes a hopeful message. It leaves the viewer understanding that we are all people, the same in every respect and desire. Given the chance to eradicate class barriers, we can all stand together with no need for violence. But it also provides a warning that we cannot take each other for granted and cast each other off, expecting the status quo to continue. It very clearly states, that there is a reckoning to be had, if inequality continues to spiral out of hand.

In Us, Jordan Peele combines all the traditional pieces of the horror genre, while carefully weaving dark satire in the form of social commentary. It is a master class in both entertaining his audience, while at the same time, making them think. Rotten Tomatoes' critics have given this movie a certified fresh grade of 93% approval, while Metacritic has given it a must-see score of 81 so far. I will have to agree on this one. As far as horror movies go, Us contains a highly original quality story, it is able to keep the audience terrified with its shocking plot twists and gore, and it provides a very poignant thought-provoking social commentary - something that most horror movies never approach. I give it a top score of 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.

Until next time, grab your popcorn, milk duds, turn off the phone, and enjoy the movie.

50 comments:

  1. Wow - the plot here, from what you have revealed, certainly looks quite involved and suspenseful - leaving me to wonder where it all goes from there. You now have me quite intrigued and thinking I should check it out for myself, even though horror is not really my favorite movie genre.

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    1. Nicole, I highly recommend it. There is quite a bit of horror and gore, so I suggest not going alone if that is not your thing. However, there's enough here to entertain and really make people think about more than just themselves.

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  2. I love how dedicated you are about this movie. Very insightful, you've set the premise in a promising way!

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    1. Vasundhra, I'm usually not that involved with the plot of a movie, trying to maintain my objectivity. But it is incredibly tough to separate yourself when watching something as great as this movie is.

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  3. I like that this movie is thought provoking and not just horror and gore. Thanks for your honest opinion.

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    1. Ellen, it truly does strike the perfect balance between horror and social commentary, all the while entertaining and provoking critical thinking. This one has it all.

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  4. thanks for this review! Will add US to the list!

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    1. You won't be disappointed, there is a lot more of a meaningful story in this movie than horror films of the past.

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  5. I do not get to go to the movies much so I always appreciate movie reviews as it gives me info on what to watch next time and what not to be dissapointed if I do not get a chance to watch.

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    1. Roamy, I know plenty of folks who don't want to watch movies at the theater and prefer to stream them at home when they become available. A good movie can only be enjoyed when the audience is comfortable. So if watching at home is your comfort level, by all means do so.

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  6. Get Out was so disturbingly good, will have to see this one now!

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    1. ktliang, Get Out is really different in that it has more of a comedic component to it. This one trades in the comedic content with social commentary and a better story line. Enjoy.

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  7. Wow. the plot is interesting. It is not just your typical horror, gore thing. The social implications make it unique. The title 'Us' is so fitting! I love watching horror movies, so I can't wait to watch this.

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    1. Glam2Greatness, you are spot on. This is a horror movie with a real life meaning. You will really enjoy this.

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  8. Us looks like something that I'd enjoy watching. Sounds weird but I'm a huge fan of horror and suspense films - I can watch even alone. Haha! Thanks for the review!

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    1. Polly, then you will really enjoy this movie. It keeps you on the edge of your seat but also makes you think about how human beings treat each other.

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  9. I haven't seen a movie by Jordan Peele. I will try to watch Us and Get Out, hoping they aren't your general, generic horror movies. (I am a mostly a bookie and I like to read horror novels than see movies. I like the human aspect of horror like in Carrie and The Ring).

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    1. aisasami, Jordan Peele truly outdoes himself. I really liked Get Out, but this movie is just a step beyond a good horror movie. All the little nooks and crevaces makes this movie more of Best Picture contender than a Best Horror movie.

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  10. The plot is very interesting. Im glad I came across of your review. I will watch it soon.

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    1. Blair, it is highly entertaining and thought provoking. I cannot recommend it enough for you to watch it.

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  11. Thanks for this review, I'll have to add this to my list.

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    1. JK, make sure you do. It's worth the price of streaming service or a rental. Enjoy.

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  12. I’ve heard great things about this movie but I’m not a horror fan. I freak out for days afterwards.

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    1. Searcy, even though this is a horror movie, it is so much more than just a fright flick. If you can watch with a trusted friend, I suggest you do. Because it contains so much commentary that today's world sorely needs.

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  13. This sounds like a great movie to watch these days, especially that Halloween is around. I like that there is dark satire in the film and nut just horror.

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    1. Joanna, it is more than a horror or satire. The social commentary here is starkly powerful and thought-provoking.

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  14. great review. the movie was dope and had me at the edge of my seat!

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    1. I am glad that you enjoyed it. Jordan Peele truly picks up where Wes Craven left off, and goes beyond.

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  15. This movie sounds intense, great review!

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    1. Happy to hear you liked it. It is intense for all the right reasons and hopefully mady you think about the world today.

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  16. wow, It's quite interesting. Would try to watch it.

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    1. nikhila, it is an interesting, tense, and thought-provoking thrill ride of a horror movie. Please enjoy it.

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  17. How you guys can watch any horror movies?
    I hate it. Why? Explain.

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    1. Mila, horror movies reach to the extremities of our minds to push the boundaries of what we enjoy. They ultimately, as a result make us realize that the fears we have are largely superficial. They diminish our real world fears and anxiety.

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  18. Although this movie is generally a horror flick, I would love to see it to see how does the class interact with each other and how does that reflect back on our society.

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    1. aisasami, you are spot on. This movie provides the necessary social commentary of our time.

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  19. I have been wanting to see this movie! Thanks for the review!

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    1. Cyndi, it is a treat of cinematic brilliance. I highly reccomend that you do watch it.

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  20. I love horor movies and I would love to check this out! nice review!

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    1. Maysz, this movie goes beyond your garden variety horror. Us is a best picture nominee in my book.

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  21. I'm a great fun of movies.movie reviews do help alot in determining what to choose next. Thanks for sharing this

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    1. Shadrack, I appreciate the kind words and I highly recommend this masterpiece.

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  22. I am not a movie buff, but reading this review I think I should watch this movie.

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    1. Trijit, I think everyone should watch this movie and reflect on our society.

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  23. I'm going to watch this movie after reading this review.

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    1. Amelia Pollock, come back after and let us know what you think. I personally see this as a best picture contender.

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  24. I really love this story. I will add this on my list.

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    1. Elizabeth, definitely add it. The movie is worth a view and a thousand thoughts & reflections.

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    1. Sanjota, please see this movie. The horror aspect is excllent, but the social commentary of Us is legendary as far as cinema goes.

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