Movie Review: Us - Stylish and Atmospheric Horror Film

Posted on at


Movie Review: Us - Photo credit: twitter, edition by Amber255 via

If you enjoyed Jordan Peele's Get Out and are not tired of the racial question in the film and from the horror films, then at the cinemas you will enjoy another great director's great horror film called Us.

In recent years, we can see a real bunch of black directors - more and more films come to the theaters that tell about the life, love, expectations, troubles, and challenges that they have faced every day for many years in the world of white people.

Of course, some movies remain stuck in the niche or only recognized by black communities, but the last two or three years we can see a tendency for the films on racial differences or the challenges faced by the black in the modern world to receive the attention of the pretentious film audience or even the academy.

Us is a true genre flick, polished to a fine degree, a pure distillation of the essence of horror cinema. 

Credit: cine-vue

The already mentioned Get Out film is the great and refreshing gusts of the wind in the long-awaited film industry, and the properly shocking and incredibly sad story of the Moonlight of a homosexual black man was recognized as the best in 2016 film at the Oscars.

The Direction of film Us belongs to well-known Jordan Peele, who sent a strong message a couple of years ago about the still prevailing racism in the form of the Get Out.

Now, the film Us that will spread all over the world is not just a horror story about the black family being attacked by unexpected guests. It seems that Us is once again an allegory of race and society, and when you understand it, you can start feeling unbelievable uncomfortable. And at some level, it is also a story about us. 

Film US Trailer - Video credit: youtube

The Short Story

The action of the film Us begins in 1986. Everywhere they talk about the large-scale charity event Hands Across America, created to help people who were suffering from poverty. As part of the campaign, 6.5 million people across the United States joined hands, lined up in a living chain. Just at this time, a girl named Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) arrives with her parents in the city Santa Cruz. She is lost on the beach promenade and enters the mirror room, where a strange event takes place with her, about which the girl does not tell anyone.

After many years, Adelaide returns to Santa Cruz in the company of her husband Geib (Winston Dukeand two children. They plan an ordinary vacation and meet friends on the beach. At some point, Adelaide begins to feel that episodes from the past are overtaking her. She does not manage to leave Santa Cruz. At night, frightening people appear in the courtyard of her house with scissors in their hands, not responding to requests to leave the private territory.

Neighbors do not tend to quiet conversations or cozy holidays - they came to hunt, scare, and kill, but it will not be easy to hide from them - they look like Adelaide's family. They think as Adelaide's family They know where family members are. Those horrifying people are family's worst enemies.


Best horror movies of 2019: Us - Photo credit: thafcc.wordpress

The Content 

A year after the release of the Get Out, Jordan Peele began shooting the second film, becoming at the same time, a screenwriter, director, and producer of his project. This time, the audience waited from Jordan no less well-aimed film and something not like all other films. When the trailer of the horror film Us appeared on the network, the interest in the new film became justified; besides, famous actors were involved in the movie.

But after the long-awaited release of the film Us on the big screens, opinions on Jordan Peele's work divided. This time, the director did not raise the topic of race, but with the great zeal, he plunged into the social problems of America. The result was too figurative and not always logical in script stories.

The title of the film is not just a reminder that this story can happen to everyone, but also a link to the movie's storyline. The young family is attacked not by white extremists or by a higher class white family, but comers completely identical looking to them. 

They look just like the family; they act the same as the family, and even talk about the same thing - the only difference is that the attackers have disfigured faces. Here we can also see C. G. Jung's psychology theories about Shadow - that what each of us has dark, instinctive, and irrational, and perhaps very bad in oneself's inside. So does the family from Us see their dark side in the literal sense - is it not horrible in reality? 


American horror film Us - Photo credit: imdb

Sometimes Jordan Peele dilutes the script with playful remarks, which further distances the tape from the horror genre. There will not be scary anymore, the bet here, as it turned out, was made entirely on the other.

The film Us is a large collection of parts, which should be lined up in the big picture by the end. Starting from the moment when little Adelaide gets into Santa Cruz, Jordan Peele hides a large number of clues throughout the film, which are prompt to the appearance of doubles.

In addition, the director adds references to elements of pop culture that influenced American hobbies: starting with Luniz’s I Got 5 On It song which became the main theme of music and ending with clothes printed by Steven Spielberg’s legendary Jaws.

The main problem of the tape is that it is simply impossible to notice all the clues from the first time, as well as to recognize the really meaningful meanings of the plot mazes. Even getting all the hints on the disclosure of secrets, the finale will leave many questions. And the director simply will not give answers to them. 


Film Us review  - Photo credit: topsimages

And when, after the last titers, you begin to compare the information received, many moments clearly do not add up together. But since this is the creation of Jordan Peele, it must be borne in mind that symbolism is behind the plot twists. Also, the absence of logic can be explained by the fact that the events of Us, most likely, occur in the universe created by Jordan Peele - there can act its own laws of physics.

Us is a political film in all its glory. Using images of twins, the author argues on the imbalance of modern American society. Not only racial and ideological but also mental. Along the way, it turns out that rivals are not divided into good and bad; everything is much more complicated and terrible. Jordan Peele wittily denounces a society of welfare and consumption, which does not pay attention to those who fall out of their circle. And their doubles show the flip side of universal hypocrisy.

This film is a deception from the beginning to the last titers, so during viewing, I recommend to pay special attention to imperceptible details whether it is a picture on clothes or a voice from the TV. Every detail has its meaning, promise, and dispatch.


Horror thriller Us - Photo credit: imdb

During the viewing, ask yourself why the attackers use only scissors as a weapon, why they wear red overalls, and why only one woman speaks of all the killers. Pay attention to the rabbits, which repeatedly flash in the film. Focus on their location at the beginning and end. What exactly do they personify and what is their general role in this whole story?

And pay attention to the original name of the film. What do you see in these letters? If now it seems like a silly idea, then after the movie, go back to the title and try to answer the question: “What is this movie about?”

The Characters

Taking as a basis the rather ancient and hackneyed concept of the presence of the heroes of evil twins, Jordan Peele filled the picture with discourses on duality and mirrored peculiarity, present in almost all aspects of human life. As is the case with any other outstanding work, this implies an infinite number of interpretations and meanings that appear here.


Lupita Nyong'o in the best horror movie of 2019: Us  - Photo credit: imdb

The couple, Adelaide and Gabe Wilson with children Jason and Zora, take a beach house to rest. By evening, a family of four people rushes into their house, similar to exactly like them, and a terrible secret unfolds before them.

Lupita Nyong'o who performed the two heroines, gave out complex, and at the same time bright images. From both personalities, various spectra of emotions are reflected, in addition to which there are terrible dreams and memories of Adelaide. Dialogues with a shadow copy of herself turn into a fierce struggle between two sides of her self. 

Adelaide Wilson : They look exactly like us. They think like us. They know where we are. We need to move and keep moving. They won't stop until they kill us... or we kill them.

Credit: Quote from the film via imdb

Adelaide is a woman with a mysterious and difficult past, that left in her soul a lot of fears, with which, however, she will have to fight in the cruelest way.

Gabe, the head of the family, the fun-filled dad, who everywhere tries to put inappropriate jokes, but becomes more serious when it comes to family safety.

With regards to the rest, everyone is also successfully coping with their tasks, showing their dual roles. The images embodied on the screen are rather stamped, but in these images, as in their bloodthirsty copies, the hidden meaning is deeply hidden.


American horror film Us -   - Photo credit: topsimages

This is a very serious and dramatic narration about the essence of a person, where it doesn’t matter what color his skin or religious beliefs are. Here, black is actually white, and good becomes evil, and vice versa.

The Technical Side

It's a rare and unusual film full of symbolism, but it's created on the spirit of Jordan Peele. So, if you are lazy to look for clues through the movie, to add them piece after piece into one big picture, this film will be boring for you, and you simply will not understand why you spent time watching it. 

I liked the make-up and costumes. It looks like the masters did a great job there. Visually, the film is attractive, spectacular, with the references to elements of pop culture. 


Film Us review - Photo credit: blog.adstoppiplus

There are many long shots, plans, heroes shown close-ups while they are silent, trying to convey their emotions without words. So in Hollywood now only a few people use such filming, and therefore, this approach may seem unusual to many and even slightly repel. It already depends on the personal perception of each viewer. Personally, I like this artistic technique very much.

Music for the new horror film of Jordan Peele, as in the case of the Get Out, was composed again by composer Michael Ebels. The soundtrack, in my opinion, is wonderful, and it blends in harmoniously with what is happening in the film.

The film Us is an excellent example of how to manage the camera, its potential, and the cast, making a new film, which deserves unconditional viewing and praise! That is a kind of film we should see on the screens: smart, intriguing, bringing something new to the genre.


Director: Jordan Peele about hidden meanings in Us film - Video credit: youtube

The collective Work Of The Actors

Masterfully scaring the film audience, Jordan Peele invited to the filming the contemporary stars such as Oscar-winning Lupita Nyong and Elisabeth Moss.

Actress Lupita Nyong'o literally takes on herself all the emotional part of the motion picture. She plays both the main character, Adelaide, who is desperately trying to protect her family, and an eerie double persecuting her. Nyong'o is incredibly good at double-faced, especially at moments bordering on the madness of self-defense. 

The actress has long worked on the voice that belongs to Adelaide's double, so if you want to assess it, watch in the original language.

Lupita Nyong'o is not the only one who played her double. Virtually the entire cast completed this task, and Evan Alex, who plays the main character’s son, is especially good at it.

 Winston Duke plays the father of the family and the typical representative of the middle class, who share the majority of jokes that reflect his life views.

The representative of the rich is Elizabeth Moss with her supporting but rather the expressive role.


Horror thriller Us - Photo credit: imdb

On A Final Note

The film Us, directed by Jordan Peel, is definitely one of the most anticipated and a bit overrated horror films of this year. After watching it, there remains a slight aftertaste of disappointment. The tape is imbued with metaphors reflecting American society, which in general is, of course, not bad. Just I assessed fully the scale of the hidden symbolism only after the end of the film. And it turns out that it is much more interesting to investigate it than to watch it.

In short, horror film Us - not quite what it seems on the trailer. This is not a horror, but a metaphor based on American society. After the session, to investigate the idea that Jordan Peele put into his film is quite interesting, but when you watch, many moments are still incomprehensible, and sometimes even illogical. 

So just by going to the cinema, fundamentally not wanting to delve into symbolism, you can stay a disappointed spectator with an empty bucket of popcorn.

But in my opinion, the film Us is definitely worth seeing. And not just for horror movie fanatics who go to the cinemas even not always choosing what to watch. Us is a black people's film phenomenon that must be seen by everyone and not just for racial issues, but also of what dark we can see in ourselves after the film. 


Movie Review: Us - Photo credit: piknow

If the viewer is used to watching typical films where the plot and the ending are clear and understandable, that's the viewer's problems. The film Us makes you think, and if you have enough brains, then at the end of the film you will get pleasure from understanding what exactly the director meant.

Jordan Peele pushes the viewer to read beyond the brackets, not to perceive what is happening literally. The last twist stirs and continues to live in the head after viewing along with the sounds of the enchanting soundtrack.  And if you let the magic of the film to enchant you, its metaphorical beauty will not leave you.

Don't walk, run to the theatre to see "Us."

Credit: moviehole 

My rating: 9.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 94/100
Metacritic: 81/100
Critics average: 69/100
IMDb: 7.4/10

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog
2019, All Rights Reserved.
You are very welcome to join Bitlanders and share your valuable knowledge and opinion.


About the author