Us is a 2019 horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele. The film stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker with a score by Michael Abels. Peele produced the film alongside Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick (with the trio previously having collaborated on Get Out and BlacKkKlansman), as well as Ian Cooper.
Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, the family is horrified to learn that each attacker takes the appearance of one of them.
First off I want to say this film really creped me out. Us wasn't a terrifying film. It didn't have me anxious or on the edge of my seat, but the film was still very effective and Us really got under my skin.
One of my biggest concerns with this film was that it was going to just be another Get Out. I loved that film, but it really would've been the easy way out. Us is not Get Out (in a good way). It's an original thrilling film and it once again proves that Jordan Peele is becoming a master of modern horror.
Lupita Nyong'o gives an amazing performance, and Michael Abels gives a masterful score. The chooses they used were bold and at times surprising and even a little risky, but it really works. The score was one of the main reasons the film was as effective as it was.
Jordan Peele's writing was amazing. One thing that horror films have struggled with as a whole has been comedic timing. This film wasn't perfect in that aspect either, but it was still great. They never beg for laughs and the jokes never take you out of the story.
Us had a terrifying atmosphere with great visuals and a masterful score. I loved this film through and through.
Lupita Nyong'o was amazing. She gives an Oscar worthy performance here. There's one particular scene where she terrified me. I really hope she gets the recognition she deserves for this performance.
I also really liked Winston Duke. I really liked how he was able to switch from funny to terrified in an instant. I also really liked his comedic timing. Again none of the jokes felt forced and his delivery really made them feel natural.
Elisabeth Moss really surprised me. She's not a bad actress by any means, but I was not expecting this. She killed it in this film. She gets limited time, but somehow she found a way to make such an impact. I found her doppelganger character to be terrifying and I thought she played the part perfectly.
All in all the acting was great. There wasn't a single sour note. If you take into account that they had to play two characters it's even better. Great acting all around.
The plot is where the film really shines. What could've come off as cliché didn't because of excellent writing. I also thought the pacing was great. It was as good as it gets especially for this genre. The entire film feels like a volcano slowly starting to erupt.
Lupita Nyong'o's character gets a lot of development but no other character gets much. I think the way the story was written and how it was paced makes these characters feel a lot stronger. Again not a ton of development, but the first act does a successful job at making you care for most of these characters.
Once the film picks up it never slows down and I loved that. I did think this was more of a thriller with a few horror elements, but that does not take away from this film.
I also love the fact that this was one of the few horror films where the kids didn't make me want to cry. They weren't useless, they didn't make stupid secessions, and they were well written. Thank You.
I only had one real problem with this film and that was the way Winston Duke's character was handled. There were certain scene were his character should have done something, but instead he did the exact opposite. They build him up as this caring and loving father and husband, but as the film progresses he never quite feels the same way. After a while his character felt more like a plot device. I thought the other characters canceled it out well enough, but I did find it a little annoying.
Other than that I thought the plot was paced and structured well. I also loved that it keeps you guessing until the end. The plot really worked for me.
Us was a great film. It's without a doubt one of the best thrillers I've seen in recent memory. The acting was great, the score was second to none, and Jordan Peele's writing was amazing.
This isn't a film that relied on cheap jump scares. I don't think this film will give you nightmares, but it was still very effective and really got under my skin.
Us is a classic in the making and it was a great follow up to Get Out. Us was simply amazing.
© 2019 Royce Proctor