The Outlook

Us is Terrifyingly Beautiful

Mckenzie Martinez, Staff Writer

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Filled with twists and awful turns that make audiences laugh and say, “oh no, don’t go in there,” Jordan Peele’s newest film Us was released on March 22. As expected, it is truly worth a watch for it scares the individual to their core even after leaving the theater. After watching, you will have trouble sleeping with the lights off and have the song, “I Got Five on It” stuck in your head on a loop. 

SPOILERS AHEAD

The Wilson family, who is on vacation, is the focus of the story; more specifically, we concentrate on the mother, Adelaide, who is haunted by her past. When she was younger, she was separated from her parents at the beach and wandered off to the beach and finds an abandoned house of mirrors. There, she found an exact copy of herself and ever since, has had a fear of her copy coming back and finding her.

So, this family trip to the exact same beach doesn’t sit well with Adelaide. When they arrive at the beach house, which is also her childhood home, however, the movie highlights family dynamics and comforts the audience into a false sense of security. We see the father Gabe acting hilariously with a new boat, young daughter Zora embodying a typical teen and youngest son Jason being a kid.

When Gabe finally convinces Adelaide to go to the beach, we witness coincidences like a character from her past, which makes her even more uneasy. At the house, she confesses her past fear and at this exact moment, the power goes out. The worst part? Jason comes and announces, “There’s a family in our driveway.”

Gabe tries to go outside to get the family off their property, but it’s too late. The family breaks in and corners the Wilsons in their living room. This is when we find out that they are copies of the Wilson family. The doppelgangers are horrifying and don’t make human sounds, except for the Adelaide copy named Red. Red tells the family of a story about a girl and a shadow and how the shadow hated the girl for living in privilege while the shadow suffered. Red tells Adeline to handcuff herself while the shadow family chases and takes over their respective Wilsons.

As they try to run or fight each other, the Wilsons escape to their friend’s house. This is when we realize that the shadow takeover is not isolated to the Wilsons because when they arrive, they find that their friends have been killed by their…shadows.

The Wilsons fight and kill their friends’ look-alikes only to find out that the city has been overrun by these duplicates wearing red jumpsuits, killing people and joining hands. This is where the movie diverges from a home invasion to an almost zombie apocalyptic horror.

The movie is a perfect example of “you are a product of your environment.” There is sympathy to be had for the “villains” of this movie since they are us…literally. It’s just an unfair circumstance that has them down and it exemplifies how the idea of “us and them” is really a false phrase.

Lupita Nyong’o is amazing in this, I cannot express enough how beautiful and scary she is. After seeing this movie twice, I can say that it definitely stays with you. The idea that there is someone waiting for the chance to replace you and it’s you, is a terrifying concept. Peele takes this to another level by making it a planned and nationwide effort.

The cinematography is gorgeously bloody and sporadic. There are certain scenes that just ooze art and feeling. In the climax of Us, when Adelaide and Red fight, there are flashbacks of them dancing when they were young. While hearing a remix of “I Got Five on It,” it just flows together so well. Along with the cinematography, the references to other horror movies are prominent.

Peele may be very detailed, but he still leaves space for audiences to think for themselves. The Jeremiah 11:11 Bible passage literally brings doom by, “Herefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.” The color red is shown to represent a literal red scare.

The tethered have the same qualities as their counterparts, but raw and terrifying.

This movie is definitely worth a watch in theaters, and a full audience just makes it even better. By seeing it in theaters, the horror and comedy are taken up a notch because everything is right in your face. Us is a masterpiece and will be a landmark in the horror genre.

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Us is Terrifyingly Beautiful