My Rating: 3 stars
This movie is Jordan Peele’s next foray into horror films after his last, Get Out. And, it required a little thought . . . well, a lot of thought, actually. Us is a very scary movie, and it starts of like a standard home-invasion horror flick. But, then it gets a little more esoteric and difficult to understand. In fact, when I got home after seeing this movie, I immediately looked up several different articles explaining what it meant. And honestly, that helped clear up a lot of my confusion. After reading a few pieces about all the symbolism I figured out what message the movie was trying to communicate. And, at that point it made more sense. But, that shouldn’t have been necessary.
With that criticism out of the way, I’m free to tell you that I found the movie to be fun, very scary, and unbelievably tense. It’s a full-on, home-invasion, slasher movie—with the added horror of the psycho killers being physical doubles for the people they are hunting. The imagery is chilling. The idea of bumping into a copy of oneself is terrifying on its own. But, then the clones reveal themselves to be shrieking, speechless husks, carrying chest-stabbing scissors. The main plot follows all the traditional tropes of the genre without being overly predictable. It’s the B plot where things get a little tricky. Apparently, it’s all a big metaphor for the disaster that was the Hands Across America charade in the 80s. And, that’s the bit that I needed to read up on afterward. I wouldn’t have guessed that part on my own. And, I guess the movie illustrates that point well enough once you know what it’s trying to do. But, I’m not so sure it makes for the most coherent story. However, I don’t think that’s a reason not to go see it.
Overall, I liked this movie. The pacing is tense. And, the acting is terrifying. And, it’s amazing once you remember that every actor essentially plays two roles—the “good” version, and the very very scary “bad” one. Of course, I was predisposed to like the film. I really enjoyed Get Out, so, I was pretty excited to see this next attempt. And, it has a lot of the same weird quirkiness. But, it’s a bit more high-concept. I’ll keep seeing Peele’s movies. And you should go ahead and see this one too if you’re into horror films.