Jordan Peele had a lot to live up to after his directorial debut with “Get Out.” Peele proved that he was more than a comedic genius. He confirmed that he’s capable of creating horror stories with substance. Not only does Peele manage to top his groundbreaking debut, but with “Us,” but he pulls off the rare feat of creating a purposefully divisive film that different viewers interpret in different ways.
“Us” follows a family on vacation at the beach when they are attacked by a group doppelgängers. It’s a simple elevator pitch; however, the film is anything but simple. If you’re looking for a mindless slasher flick to get in the mood for Halloween, this film will do the trick, but you would do yourself a disservice to not think into the deeper meaning behind it.
The film follows its protagonist Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) as she defends her family from “evil” versions of themselves. Nyong’o leads the cast with two flawless, mesmerizing performances that make it a must-watch, even if you are not typically a fan of abstract filmmaking. Every plot twist reveals a new layer to the mystery. It establishes that there are grey areas in our heroes and villains, which acts as a literal representation of the good and evil that exist in everyone.
The real genius of “Us” lies in Peele’s ability to craft a film intended to be a Rorschach test that elicits different interpretations. You can look at a dozen reviews for “Us,” and you will find a dozen different interpretations. These interpretations add to the overall value that “Us” brings to people from different walks of life.
Abstract films are not typically popular with average audiences. Many criticisms were levied against this film because of its confusing ending, which is a fair opinion for audiences to have. Even I typically do not like movies that make you connect the dots yourself, but this film is an example of how to do abstract filmmaking right.
“Us” gives the audiences more than enough pieces to build whatever picture comes to mind. It only requires the effort to think about it in a more profound way.
Filmnetic Grade: A+
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