review by Bobby Blakey
When Jordan Peele stepped out of the world of comedy to bring his horror vision Get Out to the big screen he cemented himself as an insanely great writer and director. Now he is following up his award winning feature with another journey into terror with his latest film Us starring Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke. Could this be yet another horror masterpiece or will it fail to live up to the hype and be just another clone?
Us follows a mother and father who take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. Peele’s genius choice to not only use The Luniz hip hop classic “I Got 5 On It” in the trailers was cool enough, but the twist into an orchestra style horror theme of it sold me on whatever the hell was happening. What’s great about the trailer is it tells you everything without ever really telling you anything allowing the film to step its game up upon a full viewing. I loved every minute of this film that is more Hitchcokian thriller than horror, but no matter how it appears to you it works.
The story is fairly complex using real life issues alongside the score to create an ambience that fully pulls you in. There are so many clues to what is actually happening, but easily missed as it unfolds thanks to the genius storytelling of Peele. To really knock this out of the park they needed a cast that could sell a wide variety of performances and everyone here brought their A game. Winston Duke brings most of the humor with a kind of bumbling role which he fully embraces while still being a strong character. I love getting to see him do something so much different than his role of M’Baku in Black Panther. Both of the kids played by Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph are great. They carry a pretty heavy weight and succeed all around.
While everyone is amazing it is Lupita Nyong’o who steals the show. This is easily
one of, if not her best performances to date and she is everything this movie is. Even before things start going south she is already bringing an interesting vibe to the role with almost no words initially spoken. The overall direction of the film is somewhat unexpected in the best way possible and while the ending might throw some, I loved it. The lunacy of it all was just genius storytelling while still leaving some elements to your own mind. I always love when real life mixes with films like this and the connection to a major event is not something I ever thought I would see like this and made the end result all the more brilliant.
If there was ever any doubt that Jordan Peele just got lucky with Get Out, Us expands on his brilliance as a filmmaker and writer firmly cementing himself as a top tier filmmaker and overall storyteller. There is so much here it really requires multiple viewings and as the credits rolled all I could think about it what could he possibly have up his sleeve next.
In addition to the film this release included bonus content including outtakes, deleted scenes and numerous featurettes that take you behind bringing Peele’s latest horror vision to life. Grab your copy of Us available now on digital and then on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD on June 18th from Universal Home Entertainment.