Us: An Exercise In Failing To Live Up To Expectations.

Us is a horror film directed by Jordan Peele. The plot follows Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), who, as a girl, had a run in with a doppelganger version of herself in a Santa Cruz house of mirrors. Little did she know that everyone has a double, these doubles are called the Tethered and they live in underground tunnels everywhere, all across the USA, maybe even the world; for years they have been planning one thing, their revenge, this film chronicles them getting it.

The expectations for this film after Peele’s seminal breakout hit with Get Out were sky high, how was he going to top it? Well in my opinion, he didn’t. Whilst Peele’s earlier film had some cerebral elements to it, it was still a very straightforward narrative, by that I mean when the film ended you knew what had happened. However, Us likes to smell its own farts, the whole film seems to be up to your interoperation and the themes seem to be more important than the story itself, there are numerous scenes and plot holes, such as why the Tethered don’t always copy what their surface dwelling doubles do even though it is established early on that they do, which ruin the great concept the more you think about it.

For me the biggest issue with this film is it’s ending. There is a twist reveal that who we thought was Adelaide has actually been the evil Tethered version of the character all along, which is a good twist, but then the film just kind of ends. The way the film ends with the Tethered all linking up and joining hands across America, leaves more questions than answers and it doesn’t feel nicely wrapped up, like Get Out did, which to me makes the writing seem weaker.

I have to talk about Nyong’o’s performance which was fantastic. Was it Oscar nomination worthy, no it wasn’t. However, what Nyong’o did was create two characters that felt entirely different, but also similar enough that they could be switched over and we would believe it. Moreover, she also brought a great physicality to the role, the final fight scene between her and Red, (Or who we believe to be Red), was excellent and really well done.

Overall, this film fails to live up to expectations as it leaves us going what? Rather than feeling satisfied. I still think however, this is a good film and Nyong’o is great in it, just that the challenge of having to follow Get Out proved too much for it.

Pros.

Good premise.

Scares.

Nyong’o

Cons.

Far to up its own arse.

Unsatisfying.

Fails to live up to expectations.

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

 

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