Jordan Peele is becoming a powerhouse in the horror genre and a wonderful director. On top of directing and writing his own movies, he is the new face of the remake of The Twilight Zone. Jordan Peele blends horror and light smatterings of comedy in his new film Us and of course plenty of symbolism that leaves you scratching your head and wondering if it’s all connected. Us stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, a married couple on vacation with their family in Santa Cruz. Adelaide is physically nervous as they get to Santa Cruz and we discover why.
As a small child Adelaide had visited the boardwalk with her parents, at one point wandering off as her father plays Wack-A-Mole. She wanders onto the beach as a storm rolls in, with a funhouse/hall of mirrors in the distance. Adelaide enters the funhouse and the atmosphere turns dark as she eventually runs into a doppelganger.
As I mentioned before, this movie has quite a few snippets of symbolism. At the beginning of the movie we see a man holding a cardboard sign with saying ‘Jeremiah 11:11.’ If you’re confused on what this verse says, it says “Thereforth saith The Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape. And though they may cry unto me, I will not hearken upon them.”
This verse and the number eleven appear many, many times in the film as does the color red and rabbits as well…but mostly the rabbits, as we saw from the trailer. Rabbits are the primary food source of the Tethered and the word and imagery of rabbits is nearly everywhere. It seems rabbits are starting to be Jordan Peele’s signature; he even voices a rabbit dying in the movie. I was honestly disturbed when I found out about that little bit of trivia.
There are jump scares but they’re few and far between, something I’m glad for given too many can cheapen a movie and take away from the other forms of horror. This movie doesn’t rely heavily on just horror to entertain. There are also moments of comedy that help lower your guard. One scene I found hilarious was when Gabe had knocked Abraham (his Tethered twin) off the boat and fallen into the water himself. He celebrates as the boat continues to drive around the lake, then the boat turns towards him and he remembers that the boat has a terrible lean that goes left, the direction he’s in. He curses and swims away.
I was only a little disappointed at the ending because at the climax you can see the ending a mile away and that was such a disappointment. I had wished Peele had gone another way with the ending but it was still a wonderful one-of-a-kind movie. The movie kept me at the edge of my seat because the Tethered were unpredictable. I have so many more questions but to go into them would spoil such a great movie.
I encourage everyone to give this movie a look and say their own theory on what they think it’s about. I give this move a solid nine out of ten ‘Hands Across America’ t-shirts that randomly pop up.