‘Us’ highlights the continuing power of Peele

Orla Dwyer review Jordan Peele's latest film, 'Us'

Us’ is a powerful horror that verges from chilling to enjoyable. It is an excellent second film for Jordan Peele to follow from the success of his Academy Award-winning debut ‘Get Out’.

The movie is about a family holiday to Santa Cruz gone terribly wrong after the family’s doppelgangers arrive one night to wreak terror. The film never lingers at any point for too long but still leaves enough time to fill in the background pieces and explain the situation before everything goes crazy.

The film gradually gets more and more chilling but the moments of humour dispersed throughout leave breathing room for the captured audience. The first hour in particular keeps the audience dangling off the edge of their seats.

There will be natural comparisons made to ‘Get Out’. Although ‘Get Out’ is ultimately the superior film, ‘Us’ is still not to be dismissed.

Peele’s first film was smarter and more shocking but ‘Us’ has more character. Each person’s backstory is explored to a certain level and everyone has their own unique quirks.

‘Get Out’ was a sharp critique on racism and ‘Us’ just doesn’t have this same bite. It is a social class commentary, but it doesn’t have the same acrid taste ‘Get Out’ managed to leave behind.

Guesses can be made for where the plot is going but it is often difficult to tell throughout what will happen next. The symbolism’s of scissors and a human chain spreading across the nation is executed very thoughtfully and with pointed precision from beginning to end.

Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and her son Jason (Evan Alex) are the stars, in both regular and doppelganger form. Complications and intuitions lay beneath both of their masks.

It is fantastic to see Adelaide taking control, saving her family and knowing when a situation isn’t quite right. This intuition for the peculiar is sorely missing from most horror movies. There are rarely moments that make the audience scream: “What did you do that for?”.

However, the ending and concept does leave a lot of questions unanswered. Although many loose ends are tied, some remain and the entire central idea could have been explained better throughout.

The plot makes less sense the longer you dwell on it, but a fantastic film lies beneath some confusion and plot holes. ‘Us’ is well worth seeing for an enjoyable and terrifying experience.

It is a unique and excellent piece of work to continue Peele’s reign at the top of the horror game over the past few years. He will no doubt continue to dominate the genre for years to come with whatever he has to offer next.

‘Us’ currently stands at number one in the Irish box office and grossed €264,904 in its opening weekend. The power of Peele is truly evident.

Orla Dwyer 

Image Credit: bfi.org.co.uk