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Peele-ing Back the Curtain

Us follows a family of four that goes on a vacation to the beach. Their first night soon turns into a fight for survival when disturbed and violent doppelgangers are intent on killing and replacing them. They must try to survive their evil twins and find out who or what exactly they are.

Us Review

Us is one of the first great horror romps of 2019 and has already solidified itself as a top-10 finalist for the year. Despite some disappointment in the fear factor and a few originality weaknesses in the plot and concept, Us excels as a follow-up piece to Get Out with social metaphor abounding in a tension and humor-filled story.

The flawless nuance and foreshadowing is soon to become a signature of Peele's films as he builds his filmography. Like Get Out, Us delivers on the subtle moments and imagery, plastering the walls and peripheral with easter eggs that beg for multiple viewings. The writing, acting and directing carry a great deal of this film to a high status of horror that is equal parts art and entertainment.

Unfortunately, not all is perfect about this movie. Sadly, I set the bar too high on the scare factor. It wasn't as purely terrifying as I had hoped, but it wasn't so disappointing in the arena that I would consider it a failure by any means. The atmosphere was thick with dread and tension, but it was too often met with just-as-effective humor, particularly the father of the tale. Instead of providing a break from the tension, it often competed with it and broke the momentum of horror/thriller elements.

But perhaps the most apparent issue comes from the plot itself. Like Get Out, which was similar in structure and concept to The Stepford Wives, Us appears to pull a dangerous amount of concepts and themes from a lesser-known film, The Broken. I was reminded quite often of that film from beginning to end, but Us executes far better and holds powerful pacing, structure and imagery that The Broken doesn't even flirt with.

Us is a successful second entry for Jordan Peele. He was able to carry his momentum from Get Out and create another unique world, despite some plot deja vu. Peele has a talent for storytelling, using dark humor, horror and psychological thrills to drive characters and perspectives in a powerful way. I truly hope this is just the beginning.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 9/10

Horror Quality: 7/10 Film Quality: 8/10

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