A new meaning for “Us”: Jordan Peele releases a second successful thriller following his first popular film, “Get Out”

courtesy of IMP Awards

Sadie Johnson Sieben, staff writer

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Many people are driven by fear, and Jordan Peele’s newly released Us, has manipulated fear on a whole new level. The satire in this film, including the little jokes on kill counts and the comical facial expressions weren’t as outstanding as his first release, Get Out, but it is still one of the most prominent aspects in his films. Satire and horror, Peele’s most used characteristics, build off each other. The satire creates even more fear among audiences such as it did in Get Out and now in his new film Us.

The plot of Us tells the story of the Wilsons, a family fighting for survival against the “tethered,” people who look identical to them.. The “tethered” are intent on killing the family but torture them physically and emotionally first. We learn that Adelaide Wilson, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o’s character, had experiences with the “tethered” when she was younger, and now she must face them again with her family.

The acting and directing of Us was not only horrifying, but also beautiful. This beauty is exhibited in the setting: the story takes place in Santa Cruz, which consists of bright and vivid boardwalk. This creates a contrast between the horror displayed. Peele also uses the setting to incorporate his satire. In addition to that, Winston Duke’s character, Gabe Wilson, makes satirical comments, relieving viewers’ tension from the terror.

However, throughout the movie, the plot twists become confusing. Some of these twists included: trying to figure out if one character was actually their doppelganger, (although distinct costume differences helped with this) and trying to decipher who was just killed. Also, determining whether a character was still alive and trying to understand why the police haven’t come after being called hours ago were some main questions I had while viewing.

In addition to that, Peele is known for inserting hidden meanings and underlying issues present in America throughout his films. The rabbits are a recurring symbol in Us; they symbolize rebirth but can also symbolize duality, a prevalent theme in the film. Peele includes another recurring symbol: the Bible verse Jeremiah 11:11. The separation between the humans and the tethered also highlights duality since the “tethered” and the original people are treated differently despite both being human. Jeremiah 11:11 touches on this by saying no matter who you are, you will all be judged the same in the end.

Overall, I would give the film a 8.9/10 based on the exceptional underlying themes and the perfect setting of the film, and considering that there were some evident plot holes that created confusion in both the beginning and the end of the movie.

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