Us is a movie that has been marketed hard as being made by the same people who brought us Get Out, more specifically from the mind of writer, director and producer – Jordan Peele… So given my admiration for that movie, it’s fair to say I was very excited for Us.
With that being said, let’s address that elephant in the room early on… No, for me personally this did not match the highs of Get Out, but that by no means makes this a bad movie – In fact, quite the opposite.
It’s difficult to get very far into the plot of Us without giving too much away, but the short story is that the family we follow are haunted and harassed by evil versions of themselves. Let’s talk about the family first, they are brilliant! Lupita Nyong’o plays the mother and lead, Adelaide. She is fantastic in this role and arguably even better at playing her evil alter ego, Red. This pretty much applies to every member of the Wilson family to be fair. Winston Duke (Who fellow superhero nerds will recognise from Black Panther) plays the father, Gabe, and was the highlight of the movie for me. No matter how dark and creepy things get, Duke never fails to bring some comic relief to a scene and was an absolute joy to watch.
If you’re going into Us expecting a terrifying horror flick then you may be a little surprised to find that this is not necessarily the case. Yes, there are scary moments with a few jumpscares, but this is far from a front to back horror thriller. As mentioned before, this movie brings more than its fair share of comedic moments and features some scenes that could be compared more to an action film than horror. This mismatch of genres though is in no way a bad thing, as it keeps the movie feeling fresh from start to finish.
The story is where the majority of my problems lie. Once again I am going to tread very carefully here to avoid spoilers but be aware you may want to skip this paragraph if you’re wanting to go in completely blind. I think for the most part the story they went for was intriguing and interesting, but by the end left me scratching my head trying to figure out how it all came together. I get the feeling that the writers had some great ideas, but when it came to wrapping everything up into a nice tidy bow, they missed the mark. Add to that a predictable twist that you would be more likely to expect of an M. Knight Shyamalan movie, and it just left me feeling like if they had nailed the landing, then this could have been something really special. What I will say is that maybe this is a movie that deserves a second view, as with how much they were trying to reveal during the third act, it left me feeling a little overloaded. Knowing that information now though, it does make me curious if that will change the events of the movie on a second viewing, possibly making it an overall better experience.
Some of the visuals here are fantastic, there are moments and scenes in this movie that will stick with me for a long time to come – Often it’s the simplest of actions that are the most effective; whether that’s a way a certain character moves or how the spine-chilling soundtrack drops in at exactly the right moments, it’s always effective… And that’s where this film really shines. It’s never dull, never boring and never for one minute feels like it’s outstaying it’s welcome over its two-hour runtime, despite the questionable story moments.
In closing, Us is an exhilarating thrill ride with a few ropey moments that unfortunately stops it hitting the heights it maybe could have. Though what I took away above everything else was how much I enjoyed my time with these characters. Movie of the year this will not be, hell, horror movie of the year it might not be, but if you’re after a fun and entertaining horror flick, then you will be far from disappointed.
I give Us: