With Jordan Peele’s sophomore horror/thriller “Us”, Peele announces to the world that he can step into the shoes of cinematic masterminds such as Orson Welles and Rod Serling.
“Us” is not about the usual Jekyll and Hyde trope of an evil twin who is your complete opposite, but it is rather that of an “evil” clone that you do not know about and who has had a drastically different life compared to yours.
With “Us”, Peele takes a different approach to the horror genre by actually conforming it to the mainstream genre compared to his freshmen debut of “Get Out”. Whereas “Get Out” was focused on the thriller aspect in its storytelling and tone, “Us” is unequivocally scary in its own right.
The story of the film revolves around two bodies sharing one soul, compared to “Get Out” whereas two souls inhabit the same body. This concept allows for the doppelganger actors to really showcase their acting skills by going completely insane for their roles as the Tethered during their takeover scenes, and as alluded to at the beginning of the film with the “Hands Across America” commercial.
Lupita Nyong’o is the standout star in the film, with most of the plot revolving around her character of Adelaide. But it’s her performance as the doppelganger Red that really steals the show.
The twist at the end of the movie in which it is revealed that Red is actually the real Adelaide is one that was a genuinely surprising move in terms of its how it is revealed and how her son Jason also realizes it as they are driving away from their house.
The film chooses to develop the story more so than its characters, forming a more cohesive narrative compared to “Get Out”. But the focus of the film in terms of characters is strictly focused on the events which shaped Adelaide’s/Red’s life.
While the film has proven to be divisive among audience members, more so than “Get Out”, it has proven to be a critical and financial success and paves a bright future for “The Twilight Zone” showrunner Jordan Peele.
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