Us is a horrifying film that left me with lots of questions.
This post for Us contains spoilers.
Ever since Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut for 2017’s Get Out, Us (2019, directed by Jordan Peele) has been highly anticipated by everyone around the world. His second feature Us follows a family of four who runs into trouble during their family vacation (note: it is difficult to explain what Us is actually about without spoilers).
I saw Us on it’s opening weekend, and as the credits started to roll on-screen, my friend and I were both left feeling confused about what we had just watched. Like its trailer, Us doesn’t actually go into detail about the “how” and “why” of the ongoing events in the film. Instead, there’s a deeper symbolic meaning and social commentary that involves lots of headscratching before the audience is able to put two and two together.
It’s difficult to grasp the thematics and metaphorical meanings of Us at first glance. But upon more thinking and perhaps a second viewing (which I think is Peele’s intention), it’s easier to understand Us.
As I watched the film, I was too distracted by my own bodily reactions of the film to anticipate the big plot twist that was revealed at the end. Although now that I think about it, there are subtle nuances that Lupita Nyong’o gives in her performance that allows audiences to predict what happens to her character. And I think such nuances were added to purposefully let audiences anticipate the twist.
Nyong’o’s performance as a mom is believable and moving. The chemistry the child actors had with the adult actors were on point, as they really behaved like a middle-class black family.
In a simpler sense, I would plainly describe Us to be an apocalyptical film. But Us isn’t that type of film where you can brush off with assigning it a common genre. This film is symbolic of the ongoing politics that are currently happening in the United States (US).
Critics have spoken out on Us to be a film that reflects the division between the people in the country, and how one would never really know who they can trust. I would never have thought of this correlation had it not been for the countless reviews from US media outlets. I also don’t know enough about the political climate in the US to get a clear understanding of what Peele is trying to convey in his film.
But nevertheless, Us is brilliant, clever, and quite horrifying at times—and it’s absolutely worth watching multiple times.