Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
ActorsStarring: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Madison Curry, Napiera Groves, Lon Gowan, Alan Frazier, Duke Nicholson, Dustin Ybarra, Nathan Harrington, Kara Hayward, Darrel Cherney, David M Sandoval Jr., James Cobb, Alessandro Garcia, Ashia Camille, Ray Walker, Abraham Reyes, Anne-Marie Olsen, Jessica Rubinstein
Let’s start by saying that Us is an absolutely terrifying horror movie. Easily within the top 10% of all horror movies in terms of scariness. That being said, it is a horror movie. You may be tempted to compare it to Get Out, but this is not a thriller like Peele’s previous film. This is a movie designed to invoke fear and get your heart racing. Is it a masterpiece of cinema? No. Is it a masterpiece of the horror genre? You absolutely bet it is. So, get that out of your system now before diving in.
Even at the beginning of the film when things are ordinary, things feel off. The main characters are not a perfect family and clearly have some issues while trying to keep it all together and enjoy their summer vacation. This is really driven home for the audience by the soundtrack. The music has just the right blend to leave you with a feeling of alien fear, a fear of the unknown as you know something that seems impossible is coming to hurt you. Some scenes are a little goofy, so the entire film is not deranged and dark. These bits provide a healthy sense of balance and moderation; a little light in the darkness.
On the other side of things, this is a movie that requires a sense of disbelief. It also requires viewers to pay close attention. There is a lot of foreshadowing and symbolism throughout the film; some things may be missed during the first viewing. It skims the realm of contemporary horror (Hereditary, The Witch, or It Follows), but just barely. While those types of films are beloved by critics and die-hard horror fans, they do not go over well with general audiences. Peele touched them just enough to be interesting but not turn most people off.
If you try to go too deep, Us is not a story that really holds up to critical analysis. There are a number of holes that require that sense of disbelief. If you think closely some can be explained while others cannot. But conceptually, that decision on Peele’s part really comes down to interpretation. If you like to have things explained and know everything about a story in detail, you may be disappointed. But if things do not quite make sense, if these horrible things that are happening seem illogical and inconceivable, that can make the fact that they are happening all the more terrifying.