Peele analyzes society again in ‘Us’

Film takes being afraid of your shadow to extreme

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Peele analyzes society again in ‘Us’

Lupita Nyong’o (center), Evan Alex (center), and Shahadi Wright Joseph star in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”

Lupita Nyong’o (center), Evan Alex (center), and Shahadi Wright Joseph star in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”

Photo courtesy of IMDB.com

Lupita Nyong’o (center), Evan Alex (center), and Shahadi Wright Joseph star in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”

Photo courtesy of IMDB.com

Photo courtesy of IMDB.com

Lupita Nyong’o (center), Evan Alex (center), and Shahadi Wright Joseph star in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”

By Aly Sadowniczak, Entertainment Editor

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Did “Us” meet audience expectations after seeing its trailer and director Jordan Peele’s previous and critically acclaimed film “Get Out?”

Short answer: No – but that doesn’t make it a bad movie.

Peele brings a new and unique voice to Hollywood horror, but expectations might ruin viewing experiences.

The trailer creates a frightening tone, but “Us” has a lot more on its plate than scares.

The film tells the story of Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) and her family (Winston Duke, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright Joseph) traveling to her childhood Santa Cruz home.

Memories of a past traumatic event and coincidences on the trip bring her anxiety and panic to the forefront as a deranged family in red jumpsuits arrives one night at their home. However, this isn’t a typical home invasion.

As the intruders remove their masks, its revealed that they look exactly like the Wilsons.

Don’t expect to be cringing and cowering behind your popcorn the entire time: Peele’s background in comedy provides plenty of light-hearted and ironic breaks from the gore and violence.

He utilizes California rap artists such as NWA and Luniz, whose song “I Got 5 On It” you might recognize from the trailer, to establish the setting and create comic relief.

Nyong’o provides a fantastic and believable performance as both Adelaide and her twin murderer, Red.

She subtlety plays Adelaide’s differences from her family and creates a true sense of the terror, panic, and paranoia that would come from her PTSD as she discovers her son, Jason (Evan Alex), missing at the Santa Cruz beach, just like she did 30 years ago in 1986.

Nyong’o perfects Adelaide’s protective hysteria and self-sacrificing nature as a mother who will do anything to get her family out of danger. As Red, Nyong’o studied multiple types of vocal injury to cultivate and perfect the harrowing voice of her spine-chilling character.

After the Oscar-winning “Get Out” was released in 2017, people were eager and hungry to see what other tricks Peele had up his sleeve, and expectations were high for his next film.

It is these expectations, among others, however, that left many disappointed with “Us,” but keep in mind, it is not “Get Out Part 2,” though it does have similarities to the 2017 film.

Both provide M. Night Shyamalan-like twists, and both tackle social commentaries on prevalent issues in America. For “Get Out,” it was race, and for “Us,” it is social class.

“Us’s” concepts of the “tethered,” which the film refers to as the relationship between the Wilsons and their doppelgangers, are well thought out and original, despite the purposeful omissions of information.

After the popularization of big budget horror films made with the sole purpose to scare (and some as a cash grab), it’s rewarding to see a film like “Us” that not only succeeds in creeping you out, but makes you think, which is a concept I believe has been lost in the horror genre since Shyamalan’s hits in the early 2000s (which are a definite influence on Peele’s work).

The supernatural and murderer tropes have well been overdone, and Peele provides a story like none other, unpredictable and immersive, leaving movie goers unaware of their surroundings.

Despite all of this, Peele is not perfect. Both his films’ scripts have an unrealistic quality in their plots that need to be ignored and not overthought in order to enjoy them. It’s a quality I’d compare to a film like Gremlins; you can’t feed the lovable creatures after midnight but technically, isn’t it always after midnight?

In conclusion, if you enjoy Peele’s ingenuity and imagination, you’ll love “Us.” However, go into the theater as blind as possible, but with this information in mind: there’s a high chance we’ll hear more from the Wilsons and the tethered.