I know that Jordan Peele is a cinematic genius and after Us premiered with double the box office earnings of Get Out, apparently everyone else does too. Us was so good. This is a movie you have to see in the theater. I went at a late showing on Sunday night thinking it would be pretty dead; Sundays are for homework. Boy, was I wrong. The theater was sold-out, and that made for a better viewing experience. As my boyfriend and I shouted at the jump-scares, cringed at the gore, and laughed at Peele’s classic one-liners we were surrounded by dozens of others doing the exact same thing. Us managed to do something I had never even considered a possibility by creating a balance between horror and humor; this is why it’s so difficult to pin down Peele’s genre. I am a major scaredy-cat, so I was a bit nervous going into this movie after having seen scissors, masked-figures, and creepy smiles in the trailers. I was definitely frightened during the movie, but I was never fully consumed by terror due to the impeccable style of the film. Right when you thought it was going to get worse, someone would crack a joke, or kill one of the tethered in a pretty funny way. Another aspect of the movie that really pushed it from being a good movie to a great film was the level of detail. Early in the film we see the daughter wearing a shirt with a rabbit on it before learning that rabbits were the food of the tethered. Speaking of rabbits, let’s talk about that first scene. The camera slowly panning out on a wall of caged rabbits with that wonderfully creepy music building in the background truly set the tone for the film. It also reminded a lot of Get Out and the early scene flying over the trees with equally creepy music in the background. Music was one of my favorite parts of this movie and you could tell that the composer for Us was also the composer for Get Out. I hope Peele knows what he’s got and continues to work with Michael Abel for the rest of his film career. Beyond the score, the soundtrack was also pretty great making me particularly excited to hear Noname coming out of the daughter’s headphones. As a film that was all about character development, it would be a sin not to mention what Peele achieved in his writing. The main characters were complex and emotional. The main family was also wonderfully juxtaposed with a laughably one-dimensional, caricature of the white family. To top things off, Peele ends the film with a twist that would make M. Knight Shyamalan proud, making us all question if we had been rooting for the wrong person the whole time.
Image courtesy of the State Theater.