Fresh off the success of Get Out, Jordan Peele is at it again with another masterpiece: Us. A horror film with an infusion of social commentary, Us is a compelling, worthwhile production that bears repeat viewing.
Us opens in 1986, where Adelaide Thomas (Lupita Nyong’o) is vacationing with her parents in Santa Cruz, California. With her mother in the restroom and father distracted, the young girl goes off by herself and comes upon a funhouse. Adelaide gets trapped inside the structure and encounters a doppelgänger of herself. She is eventually reunited with her parents but is unable to speak for a time.
Fast forward to the present day and Adelaide is now returning to Santa Cruz for a vacation with her husband, Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). Gabe wants the family to go to the beach to meet up with friends Josh and Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) Tyler, but Adelaide is reluctant due to the trauma she suffered there. He convinces her to go anyway. While at the beach, Jason wanders away and encounters a man in a jumpsuit with blood-drenched hands. He doesn’t say anything to his family but draws a picture of the individual.
Later in the evening, a family of four suddenly appear in the driveway of the family’s home. Gabe tried to scare them off, but they attack him instead and gain entry to the house. The intruders turn out to be doppelgängers of the Wilson family, and it soon escalates into a fight to survive.
The acting was top-notch, especially Nyongo’o’s performance. Also notable is the score, “Anthem,” which was composed by Michael Abels (who also composed the score for Get Out). The sound of children singing nonsense words was creepy and effective. Also, the inclusion of “I Got 5 on It (Tethered Mix)” by Luniz and “Les Fleurs” by Minnie Riperton. Both songs invoked a sense of nostalgia and depth to the film. Regarding the former, I’m not a hip hop guy, but you can bet your bottom dollar the song is being added to my Spotify playlist.
Us was such a pleasure to watch, with Jordan Peele’s excellent direction and screenplay. It is a film that’s teeming with metaphors and requires the viewer to really think about what is going on to fully grasp the situation at hand. The storyline, plot twists, and creepy atmosphere are brilliant on all counts.