Jordan Peele’s eagerly awaited second movie is nothing on Get Out, but still an enjoyable modern horror.
Warning: Minor Spoilers
A family visit their holiday home near the beach of Santa Cruz. The mother, Adelaide, had a bad experience as a child at the funfair at Santa Cruz and begins to wonder if that bad experience has now come back to haunt her. It turns out that she’s right and a family of horrifying Doppelgängers intrude on the family’s holiday, intent on killing them all.
Directly after the movie, my boyfriend turned to me and told me and our friend that he hadn’t enjoyed the film, where as we, (Paul Salt from Screen Mayhem) and I, both did. I have to admit, Us was nowhere near as fantastic as Get Out, but that’s the problem with a first film that blows everyone away.
Having some time to reflect on the experience, I definitely see both holes and flaws as well as depth and extra creepiness. Firstly, I realise how much I enjoyed the beginning and the ending, but lulled in the middle. The first starts with a flashback, setting the scene for Adelaide’s fears; then, back in the present, Peele did an amazing job of establishing the individual personalities of the family: Gabe, the dad, is a typical ‘dad jokes’, ‘dad bod’ ‘dad who does stupid things to beat other dads’, he is loveable and genuinely funny. Zora, the teenage daughter, has some typically teenage attributes, such as being attached to her phone, but had a particular affinity for running and was potentially headed for the olympics. Jason, the young son, is a curious and excitable kid, who has an attachment to a mask, and is trying to make an old magic trick work.
Unfortunately, these personalities are soon lost, when the Doppelgänger family appears.
At this point the feel of the movie shifts and it changes from a creepy, psychological thriller/horror to a slasher. The personalities of the family are either forgotten or changed completely and the laughs become a secondary concern to the gore.
Saying that, the series of reveals at the end are enjoyable and have a nice escalation, attempting to move on from the ‘slasher’ to the “message” of the movie. It turns out that the main family aren’t the only ones with Doppelgängers, in fact, we all do, and they’re rising against us. And this is where interpretation comes in.
Some have said that instead of Us the title is actually a representation of U.S…as in America. The Doppelgänger’s are the free ones and we, the “above ground” families are simply following the path that the government have set for us.
Others speculate on class/racial aspects, I saw one fact that many of the underground people were black and above were white, I however didn’t notice this – especially with the main family being black.
In my opinion, there’s no adequate explanation I can come up with in one viewing, but I can say that as a horror fan, I enjoyed myself, but I won’t be rushing out to see it a second time.
Star Rating: 3.5*/5
*This is my blog, I make the damn rules on half points!