Last night I watched Us (2019), the new horror movie from writer/director, Jordan Peele. The film – about a group of blood thirsty doppelgängers – hits UK cinema screens this weekend and is already proving rather popular.
Just to give you an indication of how popular this movie is, last night’s screening was jam-packed – something that’s become a bit of a rarity these days (outside of Marvel movies). Positive early reviews for Us seem to be enticing audiences, plus good feeling towards Peele’s previous movie, Get Out (2017), is clearly creating a lot of buzz.
Yes. Us is a creepy, atmospheric horror with an excellent performance from lead actress, Lupita Nyong’o – the stand out star of this film.
Nyong’o plays a mother who is haunted by a terrifying encounter from her past. One which has wider ramifications than she could have ever imagined.
Part Twilight Zone, part The Strangers (2008), Us is a very scary movie that is at its best when it’s throwing terrifying characters at the screen. As a seasoned horror fan, there were moments while watching this movie that I found myself rather unsettled and to me that’s a sign of a good horror.
The biggest scares come during the much advertised ‘home invasion’ sequence – a scene that will stay with you once you leave the cinema. Home invasion plots have been done to death, yet this one injects a new degree of terror thanks to some unhinged doppelgängers.
Being subjected to torture by a stranger is one thing, but being attacked by a twisted version of yourself is another thing entirely. And there are some very twisted versions of the characters in this movie.
One scene in particular sees Nyong’o involved in a frightening, yet beautiful dance sequence with her doppelgänger, which provides the best use of the song I Got Five On It that I’ve ever heard/seen. Mesmerising, yet chilling.
But it’s not just horror that is on offer here, there is also a good dose of comedy to counter balance the terror. Horror and comedy go together very well and Peele is a master when it comes to mixing the two genres to ensure audiences are put through the wringer, never knowing whether to laugh or wince.
So, is Us perfect?
No, Us suffers from pacing issues which create a few lulls here and there and the narrative isn’t quite as strong as Get Out. The final ‘reveal’ is also less shocking than it should be, largely because it’s not all that surprising.
Overall this is a strong horror, that has flaws, but is still worth a watch. It’s a statement piece that encourages conversation and once again demonstrates how talented the writer/director is.
Peele is currently working on a revival of The Twilight Zone, which should hit TV screens later this year. Based on the look and feel of Us, I’m confident we’re in for a treat when that show drops and I really can’t wait.
If you love horror movies, then go and watch Us – there is plenty to keep you entertained/scared shitless. It won’t leave you feeling the same way you did about Get Out, but it is still a conversation starter and another fine example of horror being one of the strongest genres around.
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