“Us,” a mystery/thriller movie has hit the big screens this month. With “Us,” writer-director Jordan Peele proves that he’s not just a one-hit-wonder after the success of his Oscar-winning “Get Out” in 2017. Where “Get Out” is a racially-conscious thriller, “Us” is not about race and is more horror-focused. If there anything to compare “Us” to, it would definitely have to be the “Twilight Zone.”
The film starts out in the year 1986, with a young Adelaide visiting the Santa Cruz boardwalk vacation at a family lake house in Santa Cruz, California with her family. At the boardwalk Adelaide wanders off from her parents and ends up in a creepy house of mirrors, which is where she has a traumatic encounter.
Back to present day we meet the Wilson family, your typical middle-class American family, gathered together on a vacation at the same lake house in Santa Cruz, California. During the Wilsons’ the first day at the beach, Adelaide experiences weird coincidences, sees doubled numbers, an is afflicted with an unmistakable sense of doom.
Later that night the power goes out in the house, and her husband Jason announces that a family of strangers is standing at the end of their driveway. That’s when events starts to take a turn for the worst. The mysterious family, all dressed in identical red jumpsuits, break in and attack the Wilsons’ home, breaking in and forcing them into the living room where the Wilsons realize that these home invaders seem familiar.
Peele is brilliant bringing emotions and humor in his characters, much like the iconic shot from “Get Out” of Daniel Kaluuya, his wide teary eyes full of terror. Many forget that Peele is also a comedian, and as a result the most horrific moments in the film are laced with comedy. Winston Duke’s Gabe adds some much-needed humor to lighten the tense and bloody mood, and the two kids also have plenty to contribute as well.
The way Peele choreographed the music is what truly makes “Us” so unique. The film uses a mixture of tracks, like NWA’s “F*** the Police” during more comedic moments, but when Peele wants to create a more haunting mood the score is fantastic. The instrumental version of Luniz “I Got 5 on It” is particularly memorable during the movie’s more dramatic moments.
Peele has created and elevated “Us” above your average horror-thriller and will hopefully continue for many films to come.