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‘Us’ (2019)
Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions

Directed by: Jordan Peele
Written by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elizabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph & Evan Alex.

Following the huge success of his last film ‘Get Out‘, Jordan Peele comes at us again with a new horror film which delivers the same gut-wrenching suspense as his last. ‘Us‘, which is both written and directed by Peele, is a story of a Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family who, while on vacation in the area where she suffered a traumatic event as a child, experience a new terror when a family who looks identical to them arrives to claim what is theirs. Now Adelaide, her husband Gabe (portrayed by Winston Duke) and their two children Zora & Jason (Shahadi Wright Joseph & Evan Alex, respectively) must battle to stay alive as they are stalked and tormented by their evil doppelgangers (referred to as “The Tethered”). To say much more would spoil some key moments and plot points and this is one movie where the less you know about it, the more impactful it is. Needless to say that Peele proves once again that he is a modern day Hitchcock when it comes to spinning imaginative and inventive suspense and horror.

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The story is helped along by a frenzied and forceful score from Michael Abels that accentuates the movie in all of the right spots. Lupita Nyong’o has repeatedly demonstrated her acting chops and they are on full display here as a mother desperate to survive and keep her entire family alive. Kudos also belong to Shahadi Wirhgt Joseph as her daughter, Zora, who is deliciously disturbing to view as Zora’s “tethered” self and as manages to demonstrate a fantastic and innate acting skill set that almost seems like it should belong to someone twice or even three times her age. The only complaint I had was that a few of the “dad jokes” from the Gabe character (well-played by Winston Duke) kind of took me out of the scene on occasion. Yes, I’m sure they were intentional and, yes, I understand the need for some people / characters to cut the tension, but the humor somehow felt out of place in an otherwise masterful film from Peele. The camera work and cinematography also lent to the dizzying and disconcerting feelings that are, no doubt, experienced by the main ensemble cast. There was very little about this film that was predictable and the ending is a twist that I truly didn’t see coming. Suffice it to say that ‘Us’ gets a solid 9 out of 10 from me and is a movie that deserves to be seen in theaters as soon as you can do so!!

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