Following up a film that won an ungodly number of awards, acclaim and made a ton of money is a very tough thing to do as a director. Many directors have had the sophomore slump where their first big film hits… and then the next doesn’t quite hold up. Jordan Peele, who would wind up with an Oscar nomination for Directing and took home the small golden man for Best Original Screenplay for Get Out, returned with Us this summer in a film that oozes atmosphere and not much else.
Simple premise. A couple (Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o) with their children is on vacation when doppelgangers of the family come out to kill them. With doppelgangers of the world attacking them for some unknown reason the family has to fight to survive.
Through the first half, up until the midpoint, it’s a sufficiently creepy horror film that keeps us on the edge. We don’t know why the Tethered are going after everyone but we don’t need to know or care at that point. It’s perfectly executed as Peele knows when exactly to ramp up the scares and when to misdirect. It’s a masterclass in horror craftmanship as he develops the home invasion.
The key to whether you’ll like the film hinges upon the great reveal. Peele is going for something more political and bigger, set against “hands across America” as a metaphor about the working class, people of color, et al. It tends to fall flat because it’s a political motif and subtlety is hard to pull off in 2019 America when it comes to political allusions in flm.
A handful of terrific extras bolster the Blu-Ray release.
presents . Written and Directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker. Run Time: 116 minutes Rated R. Released on DVD: 6.18.2019
Tags: Elisabeth Moss, Evan Alex, Jordan Peele, Lupita Nyong'o, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Tim Heidecker, Us, Winston Duke