DALLAS — Jordan Peele, writer and director of the highly acclaimed “Get Out," releases his second film this weekend, and the buzz surrounding “Us” only continues to grow. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss, “Us” is a psychological horror film that features less jump-scare tactics than one might expect, and instead uses a creepy story, strong acting, eerie music and bloody comedy to create a an alarming and chilling experience.
As a young girl, Adelaide Wilson (Nyong’o) has a frightening experience in a Santa Cruz, Calif. carnival fun house when she runs into a girl who looks exactly like her. Years later, now married with kids, the Wilson family takes a vacation to the very same area of Santa Cruz, and it becomes very apparent to Adelaide that her past is still very much a part of her.
Before long, a mysterious family shows up at the family's vacation home, and Adelaide and her family quickly discover that the intruders look exactly like each of them. As chaos ensues, the audience soon learns that the Wilsons are not the only family to be attacked by identical copies of themselves, and a deeper conspiracy is revealed.
I’m a big fan of “Get Out" and everything I had heard about his newest feature is that it ups the scare factor and takes the horror genre to a whole new level. To my surprise, “Us” is not as scary in the traditional sense as I was expecting, yet instead takes a more psychological, darkly humorous approach when presenting its terrifying story.
“Us” attempts to make the most out of every element it has to offer, from its story to its bloody slasher moments, chilling music score, solid actors who play both the main characters as well as their doppelgängers, and more to create a new kind of horror experience.
Like many films that rely on the psychological aspect to drive the story and horror, the movie features multiple twists and surprises that are fully realized once the final credits roll.
While “Us” wasn’t totally the film I expected, it still makes for a fascinating viewing experience for fans of the horror-thriller genre. "Get Out" was such a big hit that some likely wondered whether his second outing would even come close to his Oscar-nominated debut. Both films have just as many differences as they do similarities when it comes to thematic elements and scare tactics, but if “Us” says anything, it’s that Peele and his team know what they’re doing.
“Us” is rated R for violence/terror, and language. Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes.