After a smash success with his suspenseful, political comedy/thriller Get Out, it seems only fitting that comedian Jordan Peele should follow it up with a full-fledged horror movie. And his newest film Us delivers on every horror front; things that go bump in the night, a creepy choral choir, lashings of gore and story payoffs that make you shiver in your cinema seats.
Us stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke taking a break from Wakanda and spending their family holiday in the sleepy seaside town of Santa Cruz, until one night when creepy doppelgängers arrive and start a ruthless hunt to the death. Their weapon of choice: Shiny gold scissors. The story, while laced with devious twists and turns in the final act, is relatively simple all the way through, going from home invasion, to stalker movie, to slasher. The action is fast paced, bloody and extremely satisfying to watch after minute upon minutes of masterful, nail-biting suspense, but the film does take a break for a few comedic moments that leave you chuckling.
But the acting is what makes this film shine. Lupita Nyong’o leaves dinner plate sized holes in the scenery through her doppelgänger Red, everything from her movements, to her facial expressions, to her death-rattle rasp of a voice builds a truly terrifying performance. All the other actors are great in their dual roles, but Elizabeth Moss was the standout for me. Her scripted character might be vacuous and air headed, but when her doppelgänger smiles, it looks like her face is going to crack in two. Utterly horrifying.
Even with Jordon Peele’s direction, returning composer Michael Abels and returning producer Sean Mcittrick, Us manages to stand apart from Get Out through a completely unique style and tone. While not as openly terrifying as recent horror flicks such as Hereditary, Us is a new great addition to the horror genre, a masterfully made film and one that’ll make you fear your reflection for days on end.
Words by Rachel Denham-White