Written by Ollie C.
"Once upon a time, there was a girl and the girl had a shadow. The two were connected, tethered together."
Jordan Peele ('Get Out') brings us a new thriller in the form of 'Us', a societal commentary on the inbalance between rich and poor in America, the duality of man and humanity's inner demons. This review does not contain spoilers for Us but read at your own risk.
Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o) returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them. But what tethers them to their twins is more horrifying that you may expect. You are them and they are us.
Lupita Nyong'o gives us the performance of her career, I have no doubt that this film will propel her into some fantastic new opportunities, and I can already see her being nominated for awards. Playing the traumatised mother, Adeleide, Nyong'o certainly delivers, giving us a capitvating performance in which her character and her doppelganger are the polar opposites of each other, showing her superb acting range. Along with Nyong'o, we have Black Panther star Winston Duke as Gabriel who brings the comedy to the film, but that isn't without his fantastic alter-ego acting, too. Also credit to the two younger actors Evan Alex as Jason Wilson and Shahadi Wright Joseph as Zora Wilson who again play their dual characters effortlessly.
It has been mentioned before that this film shares many similarities with (my favourite film of all time) 'The Shining', not necessarily thematically but in the sense that it is incredibly open-ended, can be interpreted in almost any way you want and could leave many confused. However it just goes to show how this film works on a multitude of levels, on the outset its a thriller/slasher film with a zombie twist, but beneath face value is something so much darker- something I plan to discuss in my analyis of the film upon its release on DVD and Blu-Ray. It comments on genetic engineering of animals and humans, a hideious commentary on the rich and poor divide in America (This choice of film title links both to ideas of duality and connotations of U.S. oppression) along with ideas of peoples inner demons and societal norms being subverted.
The film leaves us with arguably more questions than answers, but I'm hoping Jordan Peele takes his time to craft a worthy sequel, as this film is almost perfect- my only criticism being the multi-layered twist that could leave casual viewers bemused and frustrated. I'm incredibly excited to see more from Peele, giving us two fantastic societal commentary thriller-horrors that delve deeper into the darkness within than many other writers dare to go.
We are often our own worst enemy. Peele wants us to talk and confront some of the darker sides of the human condition, because sometimes looking in the mirror can be how we learn to confront who we really are.
'Us' is in cinemas now. Comment your (spoiler-free) thoughts below or get in touch with us via our insta (a_space_oddity_official) or on Facebook and just look for the logo. Thanks for reading.
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