Jordan Peele surprised many people when he gave us ‘Get Out’ and it was a smash critical hit. It even won him an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. So this time, when his second movie ‘Us’ came out, a lot of people were looking forward to it. And I was not disappointed.
‘Us’ is definitely a truer horror movie than ‘Get Out’. Whereas there was some room to debate what genre ‘Get Out’ best fits, there is no doubt ‘Us’ falls firmly in the horror genre. Sure, there are a lot of funny moments, but the heart of the movie is horror.
For those who are unaware, the basic premise of the movie is that a family of doppelgangers shows up to terrorize all of their doubles. It goes a whole lot deeper than that, but I don’t want to spoil anything. The whole backstory around it, the doppelgangers motives, their origin, all work so well though. it is a great concept and further proof of the creative genius of Jordan Peele.
The cast is great, especially Lupita Nyong’o, who is tasked with playing both the protagonist and antagonist. Hopefully, the string of actresses in Horror Movies being snubbed in Awards season will end, because her performance here was Oscar-worthy. But the rest of the cast was good as well. Winston Duke was great as comedic relief. Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss were both great as Kitty and Josh, but also as their doubles. Even the child actors were fairly good.
Getting back to Winston Duke though, it is so impressive that Jordan Peele’s movies are now 2 for 2 when it comes to comedic relief characters. Lil Rel Howrey was great in ‘Get Out’ and now Winston Duke is amazing here. Comedic relief characters are often just annoying. When a character is mostly there to just be funny, it becomes distracting and often detracts from the rest of the movie. But Peele can integrate them so seamlessly. They feel natural, are actually funny, and always contribute more to the movie than just jokes.
There are some problems I had though. For one, some of the characters will make some dumb decisions. It is not as bad as it can usually be in other horror movies, but it was a bit disappointing to see characters in this movie occasionally be stupid when that didnt happen in ‘Get Out”.
It also didnt really scare me much in the second half. Horror is subjective, so I am sure many people will be scared, but I wasn’t. I enjoyed myself, but I was never afraid to watch. I thought it did a great job of building tension early, but a lot of stuff just happened too fast in the second half, never giving me time to be afraid. What I do appreciate though, is I did not notice too many jump scares. The abundance of jump scares were one of the few problems I had with Get Out, so I am happy he avoided them here.
Overall I really loved this, while not scary it was at least thrilling. Lupita’s performance alone is a reason to see it. But also the ending is great, and there are so many little clues along the way that make this movie a mystery as well. I definitely recommend this one.