YOU should see “US”

Ashley Mallinson

Jordan Peele’s second film “Us” is an engaging and rather unsettling thriller. After the huge success of “Get Out”, Peele does not disappoint with this next big movie. Both movies are unnerving and make for great thrillers, but “Us” steers away from the political commentary of his previous film and dives deeper into a more classic horror trope.

Its comes as no surprise that “Us” uses a whole lot of symbolism and metaphors throughout the movie. This is a key element in Peele’s films that enhances the film tremendously. It creates more depth to the story and creates a more immersive viewing experience for the audience. It keeps the viewer engaged and more attentive when looking for the “easter eggs” that might hint towards hidden aspects about the characters or the plot, without completely distracting from the main story line.

“Us” follows Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family as they take a vacation to Santa Cruz and visit the beachfront where Adelaide had a traumatic experience as a child. As the movie progresses we meet the family’s “doubles”, nightmarish versions of themselves that are quite different from the characters we’ve come to know, and the plot takes off.

Although “Us” does hold social commentary within the movie, it’s nowhere near as structured and precise as the commentary that was presented in “Get Out”. The movie focuses more on the traditional horror aspects of things. Its less of a statement and more of just an entertaining horror flick. However, the lack of specificity in the symbolism and the plot itself seems to be done purposefully as it creates more mystery and a sense of confusion that adds to the horror. “Get Out” had clear connections and brilliant setups that were all tied together neatly and felt more organized. Although “Us” uses the same elements, it comes across a little messier.

With the amount of symbolism and vague details in this film, no two viewers take away the same message in this film. Jordan Peele describes the movie by saying he wanted it to be like a Rorschach test (inkblot test), where viewers interpret the meaning differently. He does a great job with this, as the only solid theme within the story is one about identity. This translates throughout the movie very well in obvious ways like the doubles and in subtle ways as well.

Overall, “Us” is a movie that will stay in your head days after watching it. It’s engaging, terrifying, and it holds a lot of depth.