The movie “Us,” directed by Jordan Peele, will cause the bravest of viewers to let out a gasp or two in horror, while also containing a fair amount of humor.
The new horror film — which has a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — was released March 22. The film unravels a terrifying tale of a normal family on vacation in Santa Cruz who discover they are hunted by a family who look identical to them.
This was Peele’s second horror movie to feature African-American leads. His first horror movie direction was in “Get Out” (2017). Horror movies have been primarily made up of caucasian stars with
African-American playing secondary roles. “Us” rejected this stereotype and starred an African-American family.
Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) is a seemingly ordinary American mother with a husband and two children. Nyong’o perfectly portrays both the real Adelaide and the other Adelaide in her gripping performance.
Adelaide, along with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), work to protect their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), from the identical but twisted versions of the family.
The movie is not for the faint-hearted. If gory deaths and graphic violence aren’t your thing, this may not be the movie for you.
In one scene of the film, a character lays dying on the carpet — blood gurgling in her throat — she attempted to crawl across the floor gasping for breath, but to no avail. Her killer slit her throat before the woman was able to escape.
While many horror movies are lacking in the jump scare department, “Us” did their audience proud by placing scary moments where the audience least expected it.
For a large chunk of the movie, I was hiding my face behind my fingertips with only the faintest sliver of space between them so that I could still see what was going on. The horror wasn’t scary in a traditional way. What truly made the film terrifying was its unpredictability.
The music director, Michael Abels, intensified horror scenes with his clever use of musical cues. The music director used sharp tones and building chords, which sped up the hearts of the audience members. Even though this horror film was riveting, it left a lot of questions unanswered. The ending cleared up a lot of the immediate questions to the plot, but the audience was left with a strong sense of uncertainty.
The Bible verse Jeremiah 11:11 was referenced repeatedly throughout the film. However, there isn’t an explanation of the true significance of the verse or how it relates to the overall plot. Maybe this symbol was meant for audience interpretation, but it still could have been addressed.
Some of the physical movements of the other family were somehow comical and terrifying at the same time. Duke’s character added most of the comedy to the movie. During the most intense scenes, he would say the funniest things.
While the imitation family holds the real family captive, Gabe tells the other family that he will give them whatever they want — even the boat that he’s so proud of. Every member of his family looks at him like he’s crazy, because it’s obvious his boat is not something the other family is interested in.
The comic relief was embraced during the few seconds it lasted before the terror began again.
If you have the strength to make it through this intense movie filled with terror and gore, you’ll be met with the highest rated horror movie to hit theatres in months.
“Us” is currently playing in theaters everywhere and is rated R.