4 STARS OUT OF 5 (Want to know what exactly our star ratings mean? Check out our explanations here)
When watching Jordan Peele’s new film Us, I couldn’t help but think of the classic television show The Twilight Zone. Jordan Peele is the writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film Get Out (2017), which broke box office records and has a massive following, so he’s no stranger to the horror genre, and Us has just the right combination of creepy and curious found in The Twilight Zone. In fact, Peele will be directing a reboot of The Twilight Zone this year.
I really enjoyed Get Out because of its originality and social message, both of which had audience members talking for weeks after viewing the film. Us more than lives up to the standard set by its predecessor. It stars Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as Adelaide Wilson, a woman vacationing with her husband Gabriel Wilson (Winston Duke, Black Panther) and there two children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex).
We first meet Adelaide as a little girl visiting the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in 1986 with her parents. Leaving her father’s sight to explore the beach, she is attacked by her doppelganger when she enters a hall of mirrors exhibit but manages to get away. The film shifts to the present, when Adelaide is all grown up with a family of her own . On vacation, the Wilson family meets up with their friends and has a beach outing before driving back to their vacation home where they encounter -and are all attacked by- their doppelgangers. The Wilson family must fight for survival in order to save themselves from this mysterious apocalyptic event that is affecting the entire known world.
When watching Us, I was floored by how original the film was. I couldn’t ever really predict where the film was going, and that is very rare in any film I have seen lately (really, any film I have seen in a long time). In Us there are a lot of hidden meanings that may require multiple viewings of the film, which I say are totally worthwhile.
Peel’s direction is great here; it reminds me of some early Alfred hitchcock films such as Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963). There is a deeper message behind the horror and suspense of Us, and I suspect it will become Peel’s most celebrated work. Jordan Peele has risen to claim the title of “new master of suspense” with ease.