I. Shank

I. Shank

Ian Shank, Entertainment Writer

“Us” is the newest horror film from comedian-turned-entertainment guru Jordan Peele. “Us” is also the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s 2017 Academy-Award Winner “Get Out,” a horror film centered around the bizarre events following a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s parents. While “Us” may not be the surprise hit that “Get Out” was back in 2017, it is a really good film that benefits from Jordan Peele’s witty and no-holds-barred screenplay, as well as his improved directorial abilities. “Us” centers around a family’s vacation turned nightmare when a group of doppelgangers invade their homes with a sinister agenda in mind.

Lupita N’yongo and Winston Duke are great as the mother and father (as well as the doppelgangers Red and Abraham, respectively). Winston Duke plays the dad that has dad jokes in spades and can easily sell his ability to fend off the doppelgangers when they first arrive on the scene. To avoid spoilers, I must be vague when talking about Lupita N’yongo’s dual characters. As the mother, Lupita N’yongo is the embodiment of the over-protective yet strong mother, much like Jodie Foster in “Panic Room.” As for Red, Lupita N’yongo is flat out creepy. Taking notes from Anthony Hopkins, N’yongo rarely (if ever) blinks and uses a dry and raspy voice, which makes her sound like a thirsty peasant that was left for dead in a barren desert (or when Spongebob was in Sandy Cheek’s dome and tried to go without water). N’yongo joins the list of female talents (Jennifer Lawrence for “mother!” and Toni Collette for “Hereditary”) in a horror film that will, unjustly, never be recognized come awards season.

What Peele does best in this film is build suspense. The second the dopplegangers arrive on the driveway, you can feel the tension building up. Which leads me to my biggest complaint. Peele, who is also a comedian, sometimes ruined the tension for a few seconds by throwing in some jokes. In some cases, it works (there’s a great joke/scene involving N.W.A.’s classic “F*** The Police” and Elizabeth Moss trying on makeup), but it doesn’t alaways. However, this only happens a few times scattered amongst the two-hour runtime.

The end works and, yet, it doesn’t. It makes sense in terms of the world “Us” has built, but the more questions you ask about it, the more it seems to fall apart. The twist is also pretty obvious if you pay attention.

Despite a few detractions, “Us” is a really good entry in the horror genre, is a step-up from “Get Out,” and is bound to become a film, like “Donnie Darko” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” that will be discussed for years to come.