Back in 2017, Jordan Peele caught everyone by surprised when he introduced us to his new horror formula. Even more surprising was the fact his formula turned out to be rather successful among fans and critics alike.
After winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay with Get Out, the audience’s expectations went through the roof when Peele confirmed his next directorial effort would also be a psychological horror. Two years later, and here we are, impatiently anticipating a horror film helmed by a renowned comedian. But was “Us” worthy of the excitement? Well, the answer to that is as complex as the narrative of this movie.
“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, a married couple who decide to take their kids on a vacation to the beachfront home where Adelaide grew up. Things take a turn for the worst when they are attacked by a family that mirrors their every movement…and their appearance. Given the nature of this film, it would be impossible to dive into the synopsis any deeper without ruining the enjoyment for audiences.
Jordan Peele’s new movie is not a movie you watch; it’s a movie you experience. Creating an atmosphere that transcends the screen is no easy feat which speaks volumes of Jordan Peele’s cinematic accomplishments. The technical prowess in “Us” is astonishing to say the least. From the specific mannerisms of his characters to the use of the “out of focus zones” of the frame to provide hints of things to come, Jordan Peele does not waste a single second in this film. He instead creates a dark visual feast where every shot could be frozen into its own painting.
That being said, the mark of a great director lies in his or her ability to pull strong performances from an actor and this is ultimately where Jordan Peele excelled beyond measure. The majority of the film centers on the violent interactions between our main characters and their doppelgangers. As such, the quality of the film relies solely on the actors’ ability to fully immerse themselves into two very distinct roles at the same time. Lupita Nyong’o delivers a heartwarming performance as Adelaide and easily transitions into one of the most terrifying black woman ever seen on the big screen. Same goes for the rest of the cast members who brilliantly delivered the same energy throughout the entire film. Unfortunately, “Us” falls just a little bit short of being excellent due to a questionable plot twist that many people will either find unsettling, anticlimactic or too predictable. Again, it would be impossible to go into full details without ruining the viewing experience but if you do walk into this movie expecting it to be as clever as its predecessor, you might be a left a little disappointed by the way Jordan Peele chose to conclude his otherwise clever narrative.
“Us” is not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely an interesting addition to Jordan Peele’s directorial filmography and will most likely earn some well-deserved success, both critically and financially. It is entertaining from start to finish and brilliantly combines both humour and horror elements into a well-balanced cinematic experience. With only two motion pictures under his belt, Jordan Peele has already cemented his place among Hollywood’s top directorial talents and it will definitely be interesting to see what he decides to do next.