By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
We start in 1986 seeing Adelaide on the couch watching an ad for Hands Across America, then we cut to her and her parents at a carnival at Santa Cruz beach. While there she wonders off into a house of mirrors and finds a clone/twin version of herself in the house of mirrors and from then on is never the same. Flash-forward to present day and Adelaide is now married with two kids and they’re going to stay at their lake house. Her husband Gabe decides he wants to take the kids to Santa Cruz beach much to Adelaide’s protest. After they get home the family begins to be stalked by doppelganger versions of themselves, but they soon realize they’re not they only ones.
What can be said about Jordan Peele that hasn’t been said when Get Out came out? He’s brilliant, audacious, has a lot to say, and his films are thought-provoking, require multiple viewings, are multi-layered, and make all of us talk about what the film means to us. I don’t like to compare directors saying so and so is the next so and so, but Peele’s films remind me a lot of Paul Thomas Anderson’s in the fact that PTA’s films usually require multiple viewings, are multi-layered, and everyone has a different interpretation, forcing everyone to talk about them.
After seeing Us in theaters I knew immediately I was going to need to see it again. And this isn’t a bad thing, it’s not because I didn’t understand the movie, but rather knowing how the movie plays out I can see the film from a different viewpoint and understand it in a new way. Some people don’t like it when a film is open for interpretation; they want to be told what to think from their movie going experience, and if this is you, I would recommend skipping Us. I watched it over 24 hours ago and still haven’t stopped thinking about what the movie means to me.
The film on a technical level is brilliant- the sound design is on another level and should be a front-runner at the Oscars next year. Not only the sound design, but the score is fantastic. Using strings in a staccato manner can be tiresome in horror films, but if done right can be highly effective as it is in this film. Not just in those times, but throughout the entire film the score is used to heighten the sense of dread. I can’t sing you a single note from the score, but the emotions and tone it helps set in the film shows what a good score can really do.
Lupita Nyong’o is brilliant in this dual role as Adelaide and Red. She does so much with her eyes and emotive acting it says everything we need to know without a word being uttered. Then when Red talks it sends chills down your spine, and you realize she is playing both roles and you can’t understand why she hasn’t been a leading lady for years. All bow down to Lupita Nyong’o, because she’s probably given one of the best performances if the year and it’s only March. I also loved Winston Duke as Adelaide’s husband Gabe; he’s able to pull off the quintessential Dad to perfection. It’s not hokey or over-the-top, it’s precisely on point. The rest of the supporting cast is brilliant, and all turn in top-notch performances.
As much as I liked this movie and I am excited to see it again, I feel like Jordan bit off a little more than he could chew. This film is audacious in the biggest sense of the word, and I love that Get Out was so successful that Peele is able to have a bigger budget and more control over his stories, and I can’t wait to see what he does next. However, I feel like there are minor details that when you begin to really think about it start to poke many holes in the plot. However, if you can ignore those minor issues this is a brilliant film that is worth talking about.
Us is an interesting film that you will be thinking about for days after. I would recommend a second viewing for this one. I benefited from multiple viewings of Get Out and I think this will be the same way. Us isn’t for everybody but I think it’s one everyone should see. I have my theories on what Jordan Peele was trying to say regarding societal issues, but don’t want to say here because I like my reviews to be spoiler free. So, go see this one so we can talk about it!
Us (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every grunt the doppelgangers give.
Do a Shot: for every close up shot of people’s eyes.
Do a Shot: for every 80’s movie reference.
Chug a Beer: when you figure out the twist.