Jordan Peele’s follow up to his Oscar-winning directorial debut, Get Out, Us has received almost universal critical acclaim and made a killing at the box-office. During its opening weekend, the film broke box-office records, grossing $70 million, making it the biggest ever opening for an original horror film, the biggest ever opening for an original R-rated film and the biggest opening for an original live-action film since Avatar. And Us is more than worthy of its success and praise.
Us follows a middle-class family- parents Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe (Winston Duke), and their daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and son Jason (Evan Alex)- as they are terrorised by their murderous doppelgangers, referred to only as “The Tethered”.
The cast is universally strong, all pulling double duty as both the film’s heroes and villains, but Lupita Nyong’o rises as the undeniable highlight of the film, delivering one of the greatest female horror lead performances of all time.
The kills are gruesome and the score by Michael Abels, consisting of explosive drumming and powerful choral chanting, is brilliant. The scares are executed to perfection and the script is loaded with memorable dialogue, bone-chilling set-pieces and shocking twists and turns.
Much like his debut, Peele uses horror to hold up a mirror to societal issues and Us has a lot on its mind. Through symbolism and metaphors, Us explores class, privilege at the expense of others and how we are ultimately shaped by our privilege and our environment.
Overflowing with existential ideas, thought-provoking commentary and profound questions, Us is a triumph and easily my favourite film of the year so far! With just 2 films under his belt, Jordan Peele has cemented himself as one of the greatest filmmakers working today, delivering two of the most ambitious, imaginative and intelligent horror films of the 21st century so far.
Reviewed by Jordan Ellis
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