Jordan Peele follows up his trailblazing, Oscar-winning debut Get Out with Us, a thriller that flips the script on Peele’s trademark storytelling. This time, the social commentary exists behind a creepy and tense home invasion flick.
While on vacation, the Wilsons – a picture-perfect American family (Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) – is stalked by a gang of sadistic doppelgängers with vague motives and a relentless fascination towards their victims. Aside from a yuppie couple they casually mingle with (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker), the Wilsons are on their own; forced to band together to survive the night and find an escape for safety as they realize they’re not the only targets.
The cat-and-mouse structure works very well in Us, and the avoidance of cheap jump scares is much appreciated. Just as he demonstrated in Get Out, writer/director Peele is much more interested in planting ideas through unsettling, drawn-out sequences with the assistance of climactic reveals and uncanny visual nods towards cinematic influences (look for easter eggs hidden throughout the scenery and the film shot list). For the audience, we have an experience that’s similar to the rush the heroes and villains in the movie are living through – we’re scared and on-edge but, on the other hand, it’s a fun game that expects our full attention.
Jordan Peele’s sophomore effort may be broader than his previous work but, nonetheless, Us proves that this newly minted filmmaker is a force to be reckoned with.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie