"US" Horrifies Audiences in Debut: A Review of Jordan Peele's Newest Film

Kylazia Dye

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Graphic Credit, Blumhouse Productions and Monkeypaw Productions


Delivering a mind-boggling $70 Million debut, “Us” was released into theaters March 22, of 2019. The horror movie immediately captivated the interest of large crowds of people at our very own theater, Kalamazoo 10. From the same producer as the horror film “Get Out,” Jordan Peele, “Us” follows the story of an African American woman named Adelaide, who travels back to the home where she grew up as a child with her husband and children.
Tormented by a traumatic experience from her past, Adelaide’s worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers appear at the house. When the masks come off, the Wilson family is horrified to learn that each assailant takes the appearance of each member of the family.
The rest of this article contains spoilers and an analysis of the movie, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
With each facial expression and movement, the actors mastered the techniques of building suspense and mystery. The actress who plays Adelaide, Lupita Nyong’o, represents the normal character but also plays her villainous twin counterpart. Nyong’o was outstanding in her performance, just simply in the way she moved and spoke while playing the “dark” version of Adelaide. One of the ways she really grabbed the audience’s attention is in  the way she spoke, as if her breath was constantly being taken away.
Nyong’o’s co-star, Winston Duke, who plays Adelaide’s husband, gave the audience some laughs with his awkward jokes while trying to protect his family, an attempt to diffuse the tension given the horrifying circumstances.
So here’s the plot twist, when Adelaide was young,  the “dark” twin counterpart of Adelaide attacks and kidnaps the real one at an old fun house at the carnival on the beach. The true Adelaide then grows up in captivity underground, and changes her name to “Red.” Meanwhile, the replacement Adelaide has withdrawn her memory of what has happened and grows up believing she is the real Adelaide. In the present day, Red has become the leader of the underground slave rebellion.
The movie “Us” is a psychological horror film that makes you think upon life when looking at the symbolism that is present throughout the film. It’s not apparent on what is going to happen or what’s going on completely because of the deep metaphorical levels upon which the film operates.
Another psychological piece that is incorporated in the film is the biblical scripture Jeremiah 11:11: “Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them which they shall not be able to escape, and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”
The strangers arrive at the house at 11:11 p.m. The inescapable evil in this case is “the Tethered,” the strangers who wear the faces of the family.
In the beginning of the movie, rabbits are present in their cages and in the end at the fighting scene between Red and Adelaide, all of the rabbits have escaped. The rabbits being locked in the cage may symbolize the loss of freewill and movement, whereas their escape represents the escape of  “The Tethered.” The Tethered is basically every human being’s evil twin coming to take the world back.
Just based on the fact that the exact evil replicas of everyone, “Us” has one main point … “We all are our worst enemies.”