Peele’s “Us” proves he’s not a one hit wonder
by Alexis Tucker, Editor-in-Chief
“Get Out” was a refreshing take on the horror genre, taking a more psychological approach than the typical spooky ghosts or murderous loners. Jordan Peele has managed to make a completely unique horror experience yet again with “Us.”
According to HuffPost, in an interview with UCLA lecturer Tananarive Due, Peele explained where he got the idea for “Us,” thus setting the tone and horror aspect of the film. Peele said, “I used to go down the subway in New York, go underneath the underpass to go to the other side of the subway late at night, and nobody else is on the platform, and look across and imagine, ‘What if I saw myself going in where I had just gone?’ And that shuddered me to my core.”
“Us” is more than a hack-and-slash horror, yet those aspects remain throughout the film. The use of blood and gore is applied more interestingly rather than “just for the sake of it.” As the film surrounds the Wilson family, who begin to see their doppelgangers, each slash shows something about the characters on screen. Some of the characters don’t exactly have an arc, which is a downside, but Adelaide (the mother), Jason (the son) and Zora (the older sister), do. They are arguably the most important characters.
It is somewhat difficult to pick apart some of the deeper meanings, because they definitely seem much more individually based. However, on the surface level, there is a lot of reference to doubles and specifically the duality of humanity, which is to say there are always two faces to every person. Everyone has good and bad inside them: yin and yang.
There are several signs of this interpretation. For one, the colors black, white, red and blue show up frequently, which often contrast with other characters like the red suits the doppelganger family wears. Moreover, another sign is the use of the song “I’ve Got 5 on It.” It turns from a catchy song, rapping about drugs to the spine-chilling version that is used most often in the film. This elevates the enjoyment of the film, having all of these extra “puzzles.”
“Us” begins with several moving parts, and throughout the movie, these pieces start to all fit together. Contrastingly, there remains several unconnected aspects which leaves the viewers with too many questions such as “why this because of that?” Some of the ambiguity is good, but not to the extent of the film spoon-feeding the viewer other information which does not really add to the experience. The main praise that can be given is the ending, which gives an entirely new perspective on the entire plot.
It can’t exactly be said that “Us” is better than Peele’s first film “Get Out,” but it is still refreshing to see a film like this in the horror genre.
I’d bet $5 on “Us” being nominated for several awards.