A family goes on vacation in Santa Cruz, where their sinister doppelgangers come to meet them—and exact their revenge.
One of my favorite movie theatre experiences was watching this film. Everyone in the audience appreciated it just as much as I did. And, I remembered to buy watermelon sour patch kids, one of my favorite candies. Although you won’t be able to see Us in theatres, you should still watch it. Why? Let’s find out.
In 2017, Jordan Peele released the critically acclaimed “Get Out”. If you haven’t seen it, watch that as well. It’s not as scary as this movie, but contains explicit social messages, and defined the careers of both director Peele and lead actor Daniel Kaluuya. While the film was well received, it wasn’t the horror movie Peele anticipated he’d make. So, with his second film, he wanted to make sure it was horror. He succeeded.
Us is terrifying. I’ve watched a lot of horror movies since I’ve watched Us, and a lot before, but never have I seen dialogue this good. My favorite scene was where the doppelgangers are introduced. It begins with the matriarch’s doppelganger telling a fairy tail, starting off with “once upon a time”. It becomes the story of her harsh reality, which contrasts to how it began. There were horribly wonderful phrases like, “she had to eat rabbit, raw and bloody”. The word “raw” alone is enough to make shivers go down your spine. For this scene I was curled up in a chair, even though there was nothing going on. The doppelgangers were completely still, which speaks to the writer’s merit.
It also speaks to the merit of actress Lupita Nyong’o, portrayer of the matriarch’s doppelganger. She has this horrible whisper in this scene, having the most discomforting pitch. Her facial expressions are just the right amount of exaggerated. Also, she has to portray both this doppelganger and her true self, which is a feat within itself. All of the actors are excellent for this reason, particularly those who portrayed the family.
While being terrifying, this film is also very comedic, which is appreciated given the terrifying scenes that take up most of this movie. The comedy counters that, which eases the tension in order to make the scary moments even scarier.
The set design was phenomenal. I particularly liked the look of the tunnels, as they have this vague industrial feel to it, which allows for the audience to see what they want to see. The tunnels could be anything, but you can tell that no matter what they are, they’re sinister. The costume and makeup design was perfect as well. I loved each of the different looks of the doppelgangers, from the daughter’s slicked back hair and bug eyes to the son’s mask.
This film is not for everyone. Like a number of the movies I’ve reviewed, you’re going to have to look hard for a deeper meaning. Unlike those films, you can still enjoy it without questioning what the bigger picture is, but you’d have to ignore the feeling that there’s something you’re not getting, as there probably is.
This is an excellent film, definitely worth watching.
Us: The Best Movie Theatre Experience I’ve had.
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9.5/10
Acting - 10/10
Music - 9.8/10
Production - 10/10
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