Karla Pacheco Contributing Writer
Through his films, Jordan Peele proves that no one deserves to be typecast or fit into any type of box whatsoever.
Previously known for his work on Comedy Central as half of the duo that was “Key & Peele,” Peele has peeled away from doing exclusively humor and instead has been exploring the world of horror movies, predominantly in the subsets of suspense and psychological thrillers. After the success of “Get Out,” expectations were high and “Us” delivers everything anyone could have wanted and more. Similarly to “Get Out,” if you go in with any expectations, be ready to throw them out of the window because nothing will be as it seems. With a current score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, there is a consensus that it is well worth watching.
Various elements of horror films are introduced as the work goes on, from storms to evil clones, to government conspiracies. No spoilers, of course, but every scene has so much to unpack. Every time you think you figured out the plot twist another one comes along to throw you off your rhythm. There are jump scares, however, they are not cheap —as soon as you realize there has not been one in a while the movie is already setting you up for the next one. Luckily the comic relief is adequately timed to keep one from succumbing to the fear and confusion that is the apocalyptic scenario presented by Peele.
Lupita Nyong’o takes on a very serious role as both Adelaide and her doppelgänger, which is truly and convincingly terrifying. Her co-star Winston Duke lightens the mood with commentary mirroring that of an audience member yelling obvious suggestions at the screen. The children characters are also clever and manage to outsmart their opponents in shockingly smart ways.
Not every character behaves as intellectually, though. Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker play a painfully oblivious suburban couple. The script is self-aware of horror movie stereotypes and plays them up in a twisted way that keeps you on the edge of your seat and on the edge of understanding what is going on at any given moment.
The feeling of watching a skydiver making a beeline for the ground only to be yanked up at the last moment by their parachute is precisely how it feels to watch “Us.”