Us [Review]

cr: Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures

I still remember what it was like when I saw Get Out for the first time. I felt how the world was going to shift in its own ways as I shifted in my seat slowly throughout the run time. One thing was for sure, Jordan Peele wasn’t just a comedic genius, he was just a genius. And then we saw him win an Oscar and life was good.

Life got better when he talked about his upcoming film, and explained how it was far more of a “horror” film than Get Out was. Even though it’s brilliant, a lot of people didn’t want to full out call it a horror. That is not something that can be said about his latest film Us.

Us is about a family that goes away to Santa Cruz during the summer to enjoy a weekend getaway. Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong’o play the parents of the family, Gabe, and Adelaide respectively. They are joined by their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and son Jason (Evan Alex) on their summer trip. I’m assuming we’ve all seen the trailer (or if you’re reading this, hopefully already seen the film) so everything seems to be going okay until Jason stumbles onto a man on the beach who has blood dripping off of his fingers, which makes for a great shot.

I’ll try and keep the spoilers to a minimum, but the film goes as you’d expect considering the trailers – until it doesn’t. The film constantly one-ups itself and allows you to be unsure of where you’re going next.  And since that isn’t covered in the trailer, I’ll stop talking about the plot. But I’m able to talk about the acting, it’s incredible. Winston is hilarious and so lovely, as the father who might make too many jokes. The children are both tough while allowing fear to drive their roles. And of course, Lupita is next level, as Adelaide. Not to mention what she’s able to accomplish as her doppelgänger only known as Red. Some folks have already brought up her need of an Oscar for her performance, and while probably it’s too early to make that claim, I back it up. I highly think she at the very least deserves a nomination, even if somehow that retroactively makes up for Toni Collette’s snub.

The visuals in this are incredible. Mike Gioulakis, the man behind It Follows shot this and it’s beautiful. It feels like a grander scale (which it is) than Get Out. It makes me feel as if Peele has secured his directorial voice and strengthened it.

I’m already thinking about when I’ll go see the film again because I believe it lends itself to multiple viewings.

Maybe after I’ve seen it a second time (or a third), I’ll return for some spoiler discussion.