Review | Us

Sunday, March 24, 2019
Normally i'm quite clued up on what movies are coming out but I had actually heard nothing about 'Us' until I was recommended by a friend to see it. Perhaps as it wasn't part of the current awards circuit madness so it passed me by. Anyway, so I watched the trailer, and agreed, despite the likely prospect of being traumatised, to go and see the new thriller, horror epic by cinematic master Jordan Peele. Most will know the name from the much talked about horror and dystopian thriller 'Get Out' which made this director one to watch and landed him an Oscar too.

I want to write about 'Us' while it's still fresh in mind from seeing it on Friday. Still two days later and I get excited when I think about it, and how good it was and actually how much I want to see it again and again, really! There were so many layers to it, so much beautiful cinematography and so many details to absorb. Never did I think I would like a horror movie this much. I often associate horror movies with the likes of Paranormal Activity, Saw and the likes...that are yes, pretty creepy, but no where near as intelligent, clever, slick or artistic as 'Us' is.

The story begins through the eyes and ears of Adelaide, who is out on a fun, family trip at the fair-ground by the beach in Santa Cruz, circa the 80's. But from the minute the film begins, everything just feels a bit 'off' and unsettling, like that niggling anxiety you sometimes get but can't pinpoint why. Adelaide has an acute awareness of her surroundings, as she looks around and locks eyes on every person she passes, her ears prick up to the sound of screaming children on the fairground rides. While her dad is distracted playing a game, she is told to stay put, but Adelaide's curiosity leads her down a rabbit hole of unexpected events. As she wanders down to the beach against her parents will, lightning is crashing and she is lured into a fun house with a sign saying "find yourself here". The nightmarish journey begins. 

We fast forward to the present, to a normal and happy-looking family of four - mum - lead protagonist played by Lupita Nyong'o, dad, son and daughter. They return to their beachfront home where Adelaide grew up as a child and head to the same beach where all those years ago she faced the biggest fear of her life in the fun house of mirrors. She has an instant inkling that something is not right and the same night a family of four descend on their home who reveal themselves to be an almost identical copy of their family. It gets weirder. The family are dressed in red, prison-like boiler suits, accompanied each by a set of golden scissors, distorted voices and violent motives. 

The rest of the film becomes a game of survival as more and more of these almost zombie-like people present themselves as it turns out there's an almost parallel universe that exists, and every one has a double who is out to get them. As you can imagine the movie often had me on the edge of my seat, hooked on what was to come next and yes a couple of times I hid behind my hands. Whether it was on purpose, Peele's 'Us' seems to be inspired heavily from old zombie movies, and I noticed elements of 'Black Swan' and 'Coherence' running through too.

The movie is shot beautifully, the choice of using a fairground, beach and holiday home to shoot a majority of the movie made for an excellent backdrop for a horror. There was the right amount of suspense in this movie and the occasional jump-scare, accompanied by a chilling musical score. A must see.