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Jordan Peele essentially reset the standard for an entire genre and generation of filmmakers with his breakout(no pun) film Get Out. The movie was a breath of fresh air into a suspense/thriller genre that to a degree had grown predictable, but even worse seemed to have the same players in the game in terms of studios and directors/producers making films. I mean really, did we need ANOTHER Conjuring film? Anyhow, Peele’s first full-length feature brought us to the table with the idea of cultural appropriation, sinister agenda, weird science and lastly (also refreshingly) black heroism transcending genocidal victimization. Get Out is a masterpiece of any era, but ultimately it is ours in the now and we are so very happy to enjoy it.

With that said, take EVERYTHING you know about and love about Get Out and take it completely out of your mind. You have two days to forget all about that movie while you get ready for the premiere of Peele’s new bearer-o’-terror, Us. Lupita Ngoyo, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex head up the cast while playing double duty as both the happy-go-lucky millennial family of four as well as their inherently evil exo-shadows. The trailer has given us a bit of what’s going on so I’ll save you the trouble of telling you too much about that part. For those who are living under a rock these days, the short version is a family goes to their vacation home, only to find uninvited visitors, who happen to look EXACTLY like them. They’re also hostile, and that’s where we’ll begin.

 

Us is absolute, unfiltered pure terror from start to finish, but it’s very much of the psychological nature. Don’t get me wrong, there are absurdly violent moments as well, but this movie plays with your head from the music to the lighting, even to the framing of the scenes. You’re essentially looking over your shoulder the entire time. Even as all of this madness is occurring on screen, something that Peele does through his directing gives you this uneasiness like something worse will happen next. Quite often it does. The scoring of the film is wacky and unnerving in the best way possibly while also being brilliantly curated. I’m sure you guys know the Luniz song in the trailer. It’s all throughout the movie, as Peele nods to a legendary hip-hop song in “I Got 5 on It” throughout the film. His use of sound to incite fear in the viewer is something many of this generation may not be normally accustomed to.

 

*WARNING* SPOILERS MAY EXIST BEYOND THIS POINT. I WILL TRY MY BEST TO NOT GIVE THINGS AWAY, BE CAREFUL THOUGH!

 

 

NO REALLY, TURN BACK NOW OR FOREVER FEEL THE EFFECTS OF THE SPOIL.

 

 

 

OKAY, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. IT’S YOUR FAULT NOW.

 

 

 

 

The movie opens up in a similar way to Get Out, and I think the TV might even be the same TV from the room at the end when homeboy was strapped to the Lay-Z-Boy. I need to see the film again, but I feel like there is significance in this scene. It may be a ploy to make people wonder whether or not this is the same universe the characters from Get Out exist in(it’s not as far as I can tell through seeing the film and research thus far). There’s a short scene from the past that plays out and then once the movie makes it to present day, almost immediately, we’re thrown into a “something’s not right” zone. From this point forward the movie just gets more and more twisted as we eventually arrive at the big reveal. Specifically, I think there is significance in the son and the mother’s relationship both with each other and with their demonic doppelgangers. Peele seems to be pulling from a couple different areas of fantasy/sci-fi and suspense/thriller in this film.

 

I personally felt a breath of inspiration from Invasion of the Body Snatchers as well as any dystopian society flick(Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer, The Road, etc.). There is a certain edge to the film with every antagonist also being the protagonist by design. This is probably the most visible metaphor in the film. We can sometimes be our own worst enemy when it comes to survival and general well-being. In the worst case scenario, we ultimately can be the direct cause of our own demise. Us references this in a few different ways throughout the film through commentary and subtle cues. There are many layers to this film and I’m ready to go see it again on Friday. Until then, I’ll leave this here. Looking forward to Jordan Peele giving us some insight to whats in his head about this amazing piece of cinema. I’m certain that Jeremiah 11:11 will be the most google’d bible verse for the foreseeable future too.

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