This review was written for and initially published on CLTure.org.
After bursting onto the scene in 2017 with Get Out, director Jordan Peele is back for more with his sophomore feature, Us. While his directorial debut was certainly a thriller filled with plenty of scares, the film’s focus was its brilliant social commentary; but this time around, it’s all about the terror.
Stemming from Peele’s own childhood fear of doppelgangers, he brings the nightmare to life in Us, when the Wilson family is inexplicably confronted by deranged replicas of themselves, known as “Tethers.”
After a traumatic childhood experience in a mirror maze, Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) believes she has been marked by an identical version of herself, and that danger is coming. Now, in present-day, her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) unknowingly brings the family on a vacation to the very beach where Adelaide was scarred as a child. From Adelaide’s palpable discomfort to the increasingly strange coincidences, it’s clear that something isn’t right. Gabe, Adelaide and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) return to their vacation home, but the peculiarity quickly turns alarming when a family of four appears in the driveway in the middle of the night. Unphased by Gabe’s hollow threats, the intruders easily take over the house and reveal themselves to be… us? The Wilson family is left equally terrified and confused, as they fight to escape with their lives and some sort of explanation for the horror that’s unfolding.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.