I have to say, I’m really enjoying what Jordan Peele is doing. While not as strong as his directorial debut, Us is a fantastic sophomore effort that works as a more straight-up horror film. Featuring an outstanding performance from Lupita Nyong’o, several creepy scenes, and an absolutely bonkers ending, Jordan Peele continues to show why he is such a bright young voice in horror. Personally, I look forward to what he has up his sleeve next. Other than the soon to be released Twilight Zone reboot, of course.
The first thing I want to talk about that makes this movie works so well is the performances, specifically Lupita Nyong’o. She, like the rest of the cast who play her family, have to pull double duty as themselves and their respective doppelgangers. And while the whole cast does a great job, Nyong’o is easily the strongest. She easily plays the part of a scared, paranoid mother well and is also downright creepy as her evil half. Everything from the way she talks to the way she walks is just nightmare fuel. Which helps go in hand with the overall frightening nature of the film. There are several creepy scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat. And all without unnecessary jump scares. And, now the ending. I, personally, really enjoyed the ending. It was completely bonkers that explains just enough for me to go along with it. But, I understand where a lot of people aren’t getting behind it. There are definitely some holes with questions that will probably never be answered. Again, I had no issues, but I understand some of the audience feedback on it.
Peele is becoming one of my favorite new voices in horror. Whereas Get Out was an excellent social commentary laden type of horror, Us is a much more straightforward beast. Not that there aren't any metaphors or subtext, it’s just not nearly as prominent. I understand peoples’ gripes with the film. For me, though, this was another great film from Jordan Peele While I know he has two upcoming TV shows coming out, I look forward to what his next film will be.
After the monumental success of Get Out, Jordan Peele had to prove that he wasn't a one-trick pony. While Us did have many frightening moments and a neat concept, it's tragically bogged down by poorly timed humor, unnecessary plot twists, and a super confusing third act. It's a far cry from the terrifying masterpiece that critics are praising it as, but it's also not terrible. It's just too many ideas crammed into one movie, and not all of them click.
Lupita Nyong'o delivers an incredible performance as Adelaide, a mother of two who suffered a traumatic event as a child that has haunted her. When her family is confronted with their doppelgangers, all hell breaks loose and they are now fighting for their lives. Lupita's performance as Red (the doppelganger) will stay with me, as it's mind-numbingly creepy and unforgettable. But the character is trapped in a movie that makes no sense. None of the family members seem to react appropriately to the situation, with all of them cracking poorly timed jokes right after killing in self-defense. It's just not how people would act. But the film's biggest problem is the third act, which tries to go big but doesn't need to. Peele seemed intent on maximizing the sense of scale, but this a film concept that would work best on a small scale. I won't spoil it, but it's far more confusing than you're expecting.
Us is a brilliant concept that gets lost in itself along the way. The explanation we get for the doppelgangers is way too thin and just brings up more questions, and the script is so unnecessarily humorous that at times the film feels like a Key & Peele sketch about a horror movie. And that's not a solid follow-up to an Oscar-winning horror debut. Peele's third film or his Twilight Zone better be insanely good or else he's in danger of Shyamalan-ing himself.