MOVIE REVIEW — Us
To make a sophomore film that is on par with or better than the their first picture is a hard task to do for a lot of acclaimed directors. It becomes an even more impressive feat to accomplish when working as a writer, producer, and director, something Jordan Peele has done on both his 2017 breakout hit Get Out and now, Us. Despite the pressure of creating a worthy followup to Get Out, comedian turned “master of fright” Jordan Peele has seemingly done the impossible with his newest release, Us.
From the opening shots of this movie Peele’s distinct style can be felt in both the direction and writing, with comedy and horror blending together in a strong form of masterclass work, something that thankfully carried over from Get Out. While many will draw comparison to his 2016 hit, Us completely stands on its own, being more of a straight up sci-fi horror film rather than a politically charged horror-thriller. The movie itself works on just about every level, with strong performances from the entire cast, incredible writing and directing from Peele, one of the most eerie scores to a movie, and a genuinely unpredictable film.
Taking inspiration from classic horror movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 Version) or The Thing (1982), Us leans more into the science fiction aspect of the horror genre. The trailer for this movie did little to indicate any sci-fi influence, so that aspect of the film was a genuine surprise, adding to the mystery of main plot. The movie will have you on the edge of your seat from its opening moments until the credits start rolling, with a well-paced, well-written plot that moves along pretty rapidly while still feeling completely coherent.
The performances in this movie are some of the film’s brightest highlights. If you have seen a Lupita Nyong’o film, you already know that she is one of the most talented actresses working today and this movie is no different, with her performing at her peak throughout. Winston Duke was one of the breakout stars in 2018’s Black Panther, with him showing his charisma as the supporting character M’Baku. His role in Us is significantly greater in screen time with him being one of the leads, something that feels rightfully earned with his incredible comedic timing. Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph play the kids of the families, and both do exceptionally well throughout the film.
Tim Heidecker and Elizabeth Moss are the two key members of the supporting cast, and make up what has to be one of the most unexpected on-screen pairings in recent memory. However, both of them are really well cast in their roles, with Heidecker getting a nice opportunity to shine with his comedic abilities carried over from the Tim and Eric Awesome Show (R.I.P.). The casting for this film turned out better than imagined, with chemistry between everyone being vividly defined from start to finish.
As someone who thought Get Out was one of the most well written horror-thrillers of the past decade, my expectations for Jordan Peele’s second film outing were quite high to say the least. Us managed to live up, and possibly even shatter those expectations. As the credits started to roll, I sat initially confused on what my actual opinion was on the film, but giving it time to sink in, I have only found myself thinking more and more about how effective and how well put together of a movie it is. It was genuinely terrifying while not relying on constant jump scares, all the while being laugh out loud funny, and was also filled to the brim with incredible writing, directing, and acting. My official rating for Jordan Peele’s Us is a 9 out of 10. This is definitely a movie to experience in theaters with a full audience. Peele continues his hot streak of his success with Us as he heads into this coming April with the revival of The Twilight Zone.
Be sure to check out Us when it hits theaters on March 22, 2019.
If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out my review of Captain Marvel: