A Spoiler Free Overview of “Us” and Why It Is Awesome!
I will confess up front that I am a Jordan Peele fanboy. I loved him on “MadTV” and Key and Peele” (have you seen the “Gremlins 2” sketch?). I rank “Get Out” as one of my ten favorite horror films of all time. So, of course, I was in line for the premier showing of “Us”…and I was not disappointed.
It is almost impossible to review “Us” without getting into spoilers but I have already seen some reviews that argue that too much is going on. I respectfully disagree. So, I will try to cover some of the themes without getting into actual plot points.
1. I believe Mr. Peele is commenting on our current political climate in the U.S. (think about that). I don’t care if you agree or not. I love it when artists have something to say, whether I personally concur or not. Are the costumes referring to MAGA hats? I’ll leave that to you. I’m still trying to figure out the symbolism of the leather gloves.
2. He also has a very spiritual/psychological statement to make about our dual natures—why do we want to do good and do evil? You can read the Bible or Freud and be forced to wrestle with the problem. If you don’t think that is an issue, ask yourself, “Do you want every thought you have broadcasted?” While you watch also ask yourself what kind of weapons scissors are? It plays into it.
3. I think that he is also making a statement about seemingly progressive approaches to difficult issues where we hold an event and then think we have solved the problem or at least contributed to the solution when we have really haven’t accomplished much at at all (“Hands Across America”).
4. Finally, and this is obvious, I love the horror winks that Mr. Peele gives us—the little boy is named Jason, wears a mask and wears a “Jaws” shirt at the beach? Not subtle but awesome.
I’ll leave it at that. I’m still trying to fully understand “Us” and, to me, that’s a testament to what a work of genius it is.
The son (a.k.a. Jackson) and I will be doing a full review of it, “Get Out,” and the new “Twilight Zone” series for our podcast in April. I hope you tune in.
BTW, to give you perspective, here is my all-time Top Ten:
10. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
9. Scream (1996)
8. Alien (1979)
7. The Thing (1982)
6. Get Out (2017)
5. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
4. Halloween (1978)
3. The Exorcist (1973)
2. Jaws (1975)
and the best movie of all time is “Psycho” (1960). It changed my life! But “Us” is already in my honorable mentions and may move up.