REVIEW: Us

Ok.

So I just came back from Us which, spoiler alert, was rad.

But I got home at 10:37pm, and I had a real intense shift at work, and did I say I was tired? Well I was. And I thought to myself,

“Heya self. You’re pretty tired. Why not go to sleep first and then write up your movie review?”

So I was gonna do that, but being my dumb self, I HAD to check the Rotten Tomatoes score before going to bed, and y’all…

the audience gave this movie a freakin’ 69%.

Okay. WHAT?!

Us stars Lupita Nyong'o as a woman working through her childhood trauma while also raising a family of her own. The drama inherent in a premise like this is further complicated when crazed doppelgangers show up to her beachfront vacation home. Now she must lead her family to face these look-a-like lunatics and try to survive the night.

Winston Duke plays both a loveable husband and a grunting madman, it’s nice to see Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker as THE EPITOME of suburban California, and 5 child stars whose names you will not recognize act their gosh dern hearts out.

The theming in this movie speaks to EVERYONE and does so in a nuanced way that respects the intelligence of its audience. You get stuff about nature vs nurture, chaos vs divine intervention, self-preservation vs the common good, classism, unification, justice…it’s kinda overwhelming.

The detail work is 90s Shyamalan good. I don’t know how to write about it without getting spoiler-y fast but pay attention to everything: music cues, prop work, lighting effects, and you’ll be impressed. Definitely worth repeat viewing. I’m sure I missed stuff.

Us also has a DEEP affinity for the horror films of the past. Jaws, CHUD, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The People Under the Stairs, like dude, half the movie is an homage to Wes Craven’s least know anything. We should give Jordan Peele (the director) an Oscar just for pulling that one out of the vault.

The cinematography and production design reflect this love for the horror greats and shape each scene with inspiration from across the decades. You get that Hitchcock level color work, 70s camera movement, 80s gore, the good stuff. It produces an effect that feels without time. Nostalgic and intensely modern. Think La La Land but scary.

And I get it, ya know, I really do get if you were a little disappointed by this movie.

Get Out was a big thing for Mr. Peele to follow up and Us isn’t nearly as tight in the story department.

BUT!

In my super subjective opinion…

Us is twice as fun as Get Out, has more entertaining characters, and better scares.

Below 70% Rotten Tomatoes? You give this one a D-? That’s an absolute joke.

 

4/5

Written 3/22 and subsequently edited and re-edited and released on 3/26