Jordan Peele knocked it out of the park and floored me with Get Out. I didn’t experience the movie in theaters, but I wasn’t going to make the same mistake when Us arrived. The creepiness of the trailer drew me to it immediately, even though I knew the trailer probably wouldn’t give a whole lot away. Us is a movie that will require multiple views to catch everything being laid out. As soon as it was over, I wondered if there were signs that I missed throughout (and I’m sure I missed plenty).
Thankfully, the trailer left out some of the most important parts of the movie, which left openings for moments that I didn’t see coming. Peele is a clever director who knows how to set the tone early on in his films. From the start, something feels off and you never really get to the point where it feels right. That’s the whole point, though. This movie is meant to unsettle you and it accomplishes that by the time the credits roll.
Lupita Nyong'o has played some great roles in Maz Kanata and Nakia in the Star Wars and Marvel universes, respectively. However, it amazes me that she had never been in a leading role. She’s every bit deserving of it and she gives an award-worthy performance. Playing two characters in one movie is never an easy task, but this cast shines. Winston Duke’s Gabe is more laid back than Nyong'o’s Adelaide, but the strength of the actors compliment each other nicely. Even the kids bring performances to the table that will lead to more work for them.
Visually, Peele makes sure that he gives you exactly he wants you to see, even if you can’t believe what you’re seeing. At the beginning, we see a young Adelaide in a mirror house and we know she sees the back of herself, but then it cuts away from her tether and we don’t get the full story until a more crucial moment at the end.
Everyone having a tether was a great way to show how big the situation was while still really only focusing on one family for the majority of the film. The Tyler family never feels like they’ve been best friends with Adelaide and Gabe forever, but they’re acquainted well enough to spend time together while on vacation. The Tyler’s also act as a way to gauge the social hierarchy in this film. Gabe mentions the car that Josh bought and there’s a sense of competition between the two. While the Wilson lake house is nothing to scoff about, it isn’t as grand as the Tyler’s.
Even when the story is finished, there’s a lingering feeling of wanting more from it. That’s when you know you’ve seen something great. You can’t help but wonder what was left unsaid. I’m not saying we would need a sequel by any means because I think that could actually lessen the impact of the first one. Sometimes it’s tempting for studios to capitalize on an intellectual property that does well, but oftentimes it isn’t necessary from a creative perspective. If Peele wants to do a sequel because he already has a story in mind, that’s a different scenario (and it looks like he’s open to revisiting this universe
At this point, I’ll watch whatever movies Jordan Peele wants to give us. Get Out and Us have proven that he’s one of those filmmakers who will be worth following no matter what they do. Plus, he’s focusing on horror movies, which I’m diving into more and more these takes. Keep the hits coming, Peele.