A new American auteur appears to be in the making with the arrival of “Us,” the latest horror thriller from “Get Out” director Jordan Peele. According to the early reviews, the Lupita Nyong’o star vehicle is a terrifying thrill ride from start to finish and now holds 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Unnerving in tone and brazenly terrifying in story, Us is the kind of movie you watch with your fingers splayed over your face,” writes Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly.
“It’s a satirical doppelgänger nightmare of the American Way, a horrified double-take in the mirror of certainty, a realisation that the corroborative image of happiness and prosperity you hoped to see has turned its back, like something by Magritte,” says Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian.
“Thanks to a smart script and great performances from the main cast-notably a prowess-unlocked Lupita Nyong’o and a wonderfully loose Winston Duke-Us is both laugh out loud hilarious and disturbingly eerie all at once,” says Brandon Katz of Observer.
“[A] thrilling exploration of the past and oppression this country is still too afraid to bring up. Peele wants us to talk, and he’s given audiences the material to think, to feel our way through some of the darker sides of the human condition,” says Monica Castillo of RogerEbert.com.
“Us” tells the story of an affluent black American family facing off against violent doppelgangers of themselves while visiting their vacation home. Winston Duke (“Black Panther”) stars alongside Lupita Nyong’o as her husband. Unlike his smash hit “Get Out,” director Jordan Peele has said in interviews that the film will not be an exploration of race but an exploration of the shadow concept: that human beings are their own worst enemies.
“Very important for me was to have a black family at the center of a horror film,” Peele said at a screening back in December. “But it’s also important to note, unlike Get Out, Us is not about race. It is instead about something that I feel has become an undeniable truth. And that is the simple fact that we are our own worst enemies.”
“I dedicated a lot of myself to create a new horror mythology and a new monster,” Peele said. “I think that monsters and stories about monsters are one of our best ways of getting at deeper truths and facing our fears as a society.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Peele drew inspiration from a litany of horror classics to create “Us,” including “The Birds” (1963), “The Shining” (1980), “Dead Again” (1991), “Funny Games” (1997), “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “A Tale of Two Sisters” (2003), “Martyrs” (2008), “Let the Right One In” (2008), “The Babadook” (2014) and “It Follows” (2014).
2017’s “Get Out” still holds a solid 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and went on to be one of the top-grossing films of the year, given its $5 million budget — $255.4 million. The movie explored race relations from a different angle by portraying affluent liberals as parasites benefiting off the bodies of black men and women.