Us (2019) Movie Review - Cebu X-Geeks


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Us (2019) Movie Review

Directed by Jordan Peele
Produced by Jason Blum, Ian Cooper, Scott McKittrick, Jordan Peele
Screenplay by Jordan Peele
Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker

Ever since Get Out came out two years ago and dished out a lesson in socially aware horror storytelling, many (yours truly included) have been waiting anxiously for writer/producer/director Jordan Peele’s follow-up. And by anxious I mean wondering whether Peele—like many of his filmmaker peers before him—would succumb to that dreaded sophomore slump artists across mediums tend to be susceptible to. But barely five minutes into his second feature, Us, and I found myself gripped by the suspense, always at the edge of my seat and eager for the next surprise, the next jump scare, the next big reveal one could only peel (no pun intended) back once subjected to a shot of adrenaline courtesy of Peele’s fright tactics.

Make no mistake, this movie is genuinely terrifying, more so than Get Out, which had significantly more lighter moments and afforded audiences and the characters there a little more breathing room. Us just builds up from one plot point to another, never relenting (even going so far as to swap genres midway), and is unequivocally a step-up for Peele as a horror storyteller, though this further-honed craftsmanship sometimes comes at a cost for the “social” aspect of the “social thriller” the writer/director wishes to popularize as a genre among moviegoers. While his directorial debut illuminated with aplomb the black experience in America, it might take a little more deciphering to fully glean the message here of how certain places are depicted by the media versus how they actually are in real life, mainly because much of the plot hinges on a long-since-forgotten charity event from the Reagan era.

Lupita Nyong’o shines in both lead roles, bringing to both protagonist and antagonist a matronly creepiness that will no doubt be a hallmark in her filmography.

Word of advice: Avoid all spoilers for this movie. Notwithstanding the trailers available online, it’s best to go into this film cold. The ending alone is downright disturbing and has a sophisticated Shyamalan-esque vibe to it that will leave audiences asking things about themselves, about the people they love, and maybe even about the world around them.

Score: 9.5/10

About the Reviewer

Charles SanCheese is an avid reader, student of literature, and pop-culture vulture. He works as a copy editor in Mandaue City and has lived in Cebu his whole life. 

He has authored several essays, short stories, and lengthier works of fiction, all of which can be found in the grand annals of his personal hard drive. Follow him on Twitter at @charlesancheese.

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