At a time when the conjuring inspired jumpscare filled clichéd horror movies are putting the horror genre on the verge of burnout, something like an Us is a great relief and sort of re-instill the faith in the genre. This doppelganger horror thriller from Jordan Peele is one movie that manages to create an outcome that you won’t really see coming from where the film begins. 

Adelaide Wilson is a young woman who now lives a happy married life with her husband and two kids. She had a troubled childhood when she got into a situation that put her in a mentally stressful scenario. She naturally bounced back in life but yet was constantly haunted by the memories of that incident in her childhood. In the present day when she and her family was spending time at their vacation home, a four-member family attacks them at the night of their arrival. And Adelaide slowly realizes the fact that the members of the four-member family looked exactly like them. The movie Us is a quest to find out who they are, from where they came and what exactly they wanted.

For a major share of its runtime, we are clueless about why this is happening to the family. Adelaide is kind of kept as a reason or a connecting link to all the problems, but the fact that an entire family has got lookalikes makes it difficult for us to digest. What I loved about the film was how it managed to stay close to the family rather than making it look like a large canvas zombie movie. Jordan Peele had the option to go for that extravagant way of showing the catastrophe, but he lingers around the family and that really intensifies the actual horror.  In the last quarter of its runtime, Peele dedicates the movie for explaining the reasons. Even though it is a fantasy scenario, there is a horrifying tale of oppression here. And it is something that many people can interpret in various ways, as that aspect of the movie is majorly used for making the political statements it wants to make. The ultimate twist and the way the movie sort of leads up to that point giving us an idea about why some of the distractive scenes were there makes Us an edge of the seat horror thriller.

Lupita Nyong’o is spectacular here as both Adelaide and Red.  The difference in the mental space between both characters was clearly visible in her performance. The panicking Adelaide and the determined Red will go down as one of the most impressive performance in her career. M’Baku Winston Duke as the husband Gabe is the most chilled out person in the house and he was also pretty good and the wits never ruined the tension the movie sustained. Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex as the kids Zora and Jason were also really good in their dual shades.

Jordan Peele has no intention to include any comedy elements here in this story like the way he did in “Get Out”. Us is more on the chilling side and when the true reasons are unveiled it becomes even more horrifying. The way it places the relatable anger for revenge in a total fantasy makes it a compelling watch (something I have found in movies like Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049). I was a bit annoyed when I saw the horror film cliché of one person going after the beast all alone instead of taking a safe shelter. But when you ultimately understand more about the character, that decision is sort of justified. The cinematography has chosen multiple modes rather than sticking into a specific pattern. And it subconsciously tells us where to calm down and where to be careful. The background score really intensifies the horror of the scenario.

Us is a refreshing horror flick that will stay with you as it sort of has a cliff-hanger ending which will make you revisit the whole film. The terror here is more brutal and the actual horror wasn’t just about the bloodshed. With a terrific Lupita Nyong’o at the center of it, Us is a captivating horror thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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Final Thoughts

Us is a refreshing horror flick that will stay with you as it sort of has a cliff-hanger ending which will make you revisit the whole film.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.