I had a chance to go to the movies lately and it was between Little (Comedy) and US (Triller / Horror) and I think it’s because who I was with but I picked the movie Little, not it at all! I think I walked out, leashing who I was with behind me. I now have a very strong understanding of men and children. All I’m going to say about US from the get go is However clunky and repetitive, Us continues to demonstrate Peele’s understanding that great horror requires metaphors that are insanely great and sometimes twisted to understand. I have personally been quoted saying ever nightmare needs influence and I’m so happy someone got the memo, unless their paying your bills pay them bitches no mind.
You think you’re having a restful summer vacation with your family, but as the night closes in, so does a group of four people who look exactly the same as you and yours—cast in shadows, standing in your driveway. What do they want? All that you are and everything you have.
That’s the nightmare of Jordan Peele’s new horror movie Us. The film centers on the experience of the well-to-do African-American Wilson family; parents Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabriel (Winston Duke), and their daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and son Jason (Evan Alex). These doppelgängers—or Tethered, as Peele refers to them—are the products of a failed U.S. government experiment to create controllable human clones. Now, they have left their underground communes, and want to kill and take the place of their counterparts.
This is the sort of movie that fans will rewatch to appreciate the fillips, the purposeful echoes, the bits of foreshadowing, and the performances. Moss has little screen time, but she shows her genius as her character’s murderous double. Watch her savor the act of putting on lip gloss: Her eyes turn dreamy, and her smile spreads so wide it looks as if it will swallow her face. When she’s the double, her voice is the whistle of someone whose throat has been cut, with a gap between the start of a word in the diaphragm and its finish in the head. It’s like a rush of acrid air from a tomb, further chilled by eyes like boiled eggs, fixed on nothing in this world. The terrestrial Adelaide is more subtly scary; Nyong’o builds extra beats into the performance, lurches and ellipses that keep you from identifying with her too closely. Something’s off — but what?
Peele likes to mix tones and moods, and as he did in “Get Out,” he uses broad humor both for delay and deflection. There’s a cryptic opener and an equally enigmatic credit sequence, but soon the Wilsons are laughing at their vacation home. It’s a breather that Peele uses for light jokes and intimacy while he scatters narrative bread crumbs. There’s a beach trip with another family, this one headed by Kitty (a fantastic Elisabeth Moss) and Josh (Tim Heidecker), who have teenage twin girls. At last, the movie jumps to kinetic life with the appearance of the Wilsons’ doubles, who descend in abrutal home invasion. I feel like US makes US look in the mirror but what happens if we don’t like who is staring back?
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