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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Review: Us

Director: Jordan Peele
Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Year: 2019

Director Jordan Peele put his name in the mouth of every horror fan when in 2017 he presented “Get Out”. Since he announced his second project a lot of anticipation has grown around what he would bring this time and it grew, even more, when the first trailer was released. The question everybody is asking is if “Us” is on the same level as “Get Out”.

In “Us” Adelaide is haunted by trauma from her childhood and her paranoia keeps growing as a series of coincidences starts to unfold. These coincidences put her on alert that something bad is about to happen to her and her family. After spending a day at the beach were the event that triggered her childhood trauma took place, Adelaide and her family go back to their vacation home. Once night falls, they see a family standing in their driveway, who are doppelgangers of themselves.

I am not fond of comparing one movie with another before having seen it. More often than not this manages that one creates expectations with a movie and later feel disappointed because it was not what you expected. This is just what can happen for those who expect “Us” to be like “Get Out”. Of course, is inevitable to expect a certain level of quality and style from a director, but it is better to get into these projects without comparisons to properly enjoy them.

What stands out the most in “Us” is the acting and the ambient. The acting of Lupita Nyong’o (“Black Panther”) as Adelaide Wilson is simply exceptional. As this is not a secret, she also interprets the villain of this movie, who is nothing more than an evil version of herself. Nyong’o manages to transmit this feeling of fear and despair as well as of despicable evilness in a single scene in such a majestic way that is hard to think that both characters are interpreted by the same actress. The rest of the cast also do a great job, but Nyong’o is, without doubt, the one that shines the most.

In the technical aspect the director, writer, and producer of this movie Jordan Peele does an excellent job. The ambient he creates since the start is unnerving and intense and is fundamental for the effectiveness of the plot. Is easy to see some winks to other horror movies in how the ambient is crafted, as well as in some visual elements, being “The Strangers” the first one that comes to mind. The soundtrack is spectacular, and it serves as another character, creating tension and serving as comedy relief in some parts. Something the impressed me is that Peele uses plenty of comedy in this movie, but does it in such a way that is effective and does not interfere with the flow of the plot.

The flaw I found in the movie is in the screenplay, particularly reaching the end of the movie. Here the viewer is left with a lot of doubts about what is happening and why is happening and makes the ending confusing. I do not know if this is something that Peele did on purpose, but it is something that will generate discussions for those who agree or disagree with this decision.

For those that cannot get over the comparisons, I will share my unsolicited opinion. “Us” is at the same level as “Get Out” but it must be approached having in mind that this is a completely different project. For me “Get Out” was a better movie, but it does not mean that “Us” is not a good movie. On the contrary, I really enjoyed this movie and to me, Peele manages to take another important step in the way to cement himself as one of the best and most creative contemporary horror directors.

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