Release Year: 2019
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Adbul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Cail Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Madison Curry, Alan Frazier
Rating: Won 1 Saturn Award: Best Director. Nominated for 7 Saturns Awards: Best Horror Film, Best Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Writing, Best Performance by a Younger Actor (Evan Alex), Best Performance by a Younger Actor (Shahadi Wright Joseph)
A family’s holiday by the beach turns into a nightmare when their doppelgängers turn up and begin to terrorize them.
Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his highly succesful and impressive directorial début Get Out (2017) was bound garner a lot of hype. It is hardly fair to expect a second film to “live up” to that hype; it is always easier to surprise than it is to meet expectations. While Us has its flaws, Peele should be applauded for using his talents to make highly original horror films. The premise of Us is a great one. A family is on holidy close to the place where something traumatic happened to the mother (Lupita Nyong’o) years earlier. She has a creeping sense of dread the whole time they are there and her fear is realised when a family of sinister dopplegängers invade the house at night and start to terrorize them. There are great performances all around, genuinely frightening sequences, and surprisingly gory kills. The first half of the film is actually really great, the let down comes, for me at least, with the twist at the end. The twist is the sort that at first seems to work but upon reflection doesn’t really and points to plot holes. Still, this is a good horror film and I would much rather watch this than ten slasher rehashes that wouldn’t know an original idea if it hit them on the head. Recommended.
Several scenes take place around the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where part of The Lost Boys (1987) is also set. Adelaide’s mother makes a reference to it at the beginning of the moie when she says “You know, they’re shooting a movie over there by the carousel.”
Picture Copyright: UIP