When Jordan Peele’s Get Out hit theaters, it was a revelation. A film that was equal parts horrifying and hilarious, Get Out was also the latest in a long line of horror movies that addressed the shortcomings of our society. It’s hard to think of a movie that more trenchantly tackled the racism that still exists today, particularly prejudices that aren’t as pronounced or overt as in decades past. I loved Get Out unreservedly, and I could not wait to see Us. Although not as impactful as Get Out, Us confirms Peele’s place as the most exciting director in the genre today.
Get Out was a pretty strange movie at times; Us is insane. It’s difficult to describe the storyline without giving too much away, so I’ll keep it simple. A family goes on vacation to a seaside town where the main character had a disturbing encounter when she was a very young girl. Then another family shows up in their driveway, and everything goes to hell.
Us is one of those movies where you shouldn’t necessarily turn off your brain, but you also shouldn’t think too deeply about what is going on. This is fairytale level crazy, and when you’re reading a fairytale, you don’t ask too many questions about why the animals can talk or where the fairy godmother gets her powers. Same here. The movie is at its weakest when it tells too much, and I would have been happier with less exposition. But that’s a minor gripe, and it’s one that is overcome by the shear freakiness of the movie.
Us is deeply unsettling. It hits at something fundamental, something at the core of your being. It plays in places that most horror movies do not go, and it does it while maintaining a sinister tone of dread, lightened in all the right places with Peele’s trademark humor.
I’m sure Us has deeper meaning, but I’ll let other people worry about that. I enjoyed Us for what it was. You will too.
4.25 out of 5 stars