‘Us’ The Newest Thriller

Does 'Us' Live Up To Its Score?

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Universal Studios [Public domain]

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Tyler Powenski, Writer

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Us is Jordan Peele’s follow up to the smash hit ‘Get out’. The movie exceeded box office projections and made over $70 million in its global debut making it the second biggest opening ever for a live action, original movie. 

The movie revolves around Adelaide Wilson played by Lupita Nyong’o, her husband, Gabe Wilson played by Winston Duke, their daughter Zora, played by Shahadi Joseph, and their son Jason, played by Evan Alex, taking a vacation in their family’s beach house in Santa Cruz. Strange things begin to happen for the Wilson family starting with the appearance of a family in their driveway. The family however looks exactly like them but are dressed in peculiar apparel.  

Peele manages to make fun, likeable characters who you genuinely care for. Nyong’o delivered a fantastic performance that makes you believe that she really cares for her family. Nyong’o also does a great job as her doppelganger “Red” where she acts genuinely frightening. The acting is accompanied by the artful score done by composer Michael Abels whose clever use in sound plays off music introduced earlier in the film to create suspense. Although a thriller, the movie does break the terror using comedy from the film’s cast that is pulled off in a way that doesn’t detract from the suspense of the scene but does provide a bit of relief from the terror. 

However, where Us falls apart is its story. The story can be both surprising and incredibly predictable. There are also multiple aspects of the story that do not hold up upon closer inspection. Unlike Get Out’, which had a precise, tight story with no holes ‘Us’ manages to deliver a creative story with multiple plot holes. ‘Us also falters in its scare factor. Like Get OutUs was marketed as a thriller movie and it doesn’t really deliver on that front. Sure, it’s scarier than Get Out but Get Out wasn’t scary either. It can be startling at times, but not for most of the movie. If you go in expect a straight horror movie, you are bound to be disappointed. You must be in the mindset of a thriller with light elements of horror otherwise you are bound to be disappointed.  

Despite all that, ‘Us’ is one of my favorite films this year. The cinematography is stunning, the score is haunting, and the acting is great. There’re even multiple ways to interpret the film and this may vary from person to person. There are things throughout the movie that help hint towards the hidden meaning of Us. Jordan Peele has once again delivered a film full of symbolism and it demands a second viewing, and I think despite its short comings it proves Peele’s title as the new master of horror.