DIRECTOR: jordan peele (get out)
STARRING: lupita nyong'o, winston duke, anna diop, and elizabeth moss
REVIEWER: purdie jenkins
A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive.
Following on from the great success from the 2017 hit Get Out, Jordan Peele comes back in full force with Us. Similar to Get Out, you want to go in as naive as possible, just enjoy the crazy ride that Peele will take you on. For this reason, I’ll do my best to keep this review spoiler free. I think something that is important to note is that I had an “aha” moment two days after watching it, so it certainly is a film that keeps giving.
The premise of the film is a delightful nuclear family goes on vacation to their summer home, at night another family donned in red jumpsuits arrive on their front door step. Then the fun and thrilling ride begins.
Peele has nailed the casting, everyone embodies their role so well. It might be a smidge playing into some archetypes (which is typical of horror), but that would probably be the only familiar thing about Us. The actors have nailed the challenge of being in a thriller that has humour sprinkled throughout, Peele after all, grew his roots in comedy on TV. Each of the actors have certainly met the challenge that Peele set for them playing both the horrified and the horrors. The individual scenes in the first half are a joy, I couldn’t pick a favourite member of the Wilson family. A particular stand out minor character is Elisabeth Moss, from her Mad Men days to the more recent Handmaid’s Tale, Moss is continuing to own the screen.
The starting part of the film might feel a little slow, but I feel it’s a play on that Hitchcock-style of the tense build of anticipation, which makes the ride later on a lot more deserved. The humour as well, while not a main feature, it’s enough to create that unease, one moment you are on the edge of your seat and then someone throws a quick one liner at you - you aren’t sure if it’s safe to laugh.
The huge success of Get Out puts the bar high for Peele, but he totally nails it once again. He is bringing fresh ideas to the horror/thriller genre, these new original stories are welcomes with open arms. As a fan of the genre, it’s something exciting to see more than just your bog-standard white protagonist and a remake, reboot or sequel. I am looking forward to whatever he comes out with next.
Peele brings his A-game to Us, something fresh, original and more than a little thrilling.