Signed up the 30/03/2017
"Once upon a time, there was a girl and the girl had a shadow. The two were connected, tethered together"
Us is a paranormal slasher horror film directed & directed by Jordan Peele with Michael Gioulakis in charge of cinematography & Michael Abels hadeling the musical score of the film. The film stars Lupita Nyong, Winston Duke, Anna Diop, Yaya Abdul Mateen II, Shahadi Wright Joseph & Elizabeth Moss.
The film begins with a young Adelaide Thomas having fun with her parents a night time visit to the Santa Cruz amusement park. However some mysterious force influences her to wander off on her own without the supervision of her parents until she gets lost in a funhouse of mirrors. Young Adelaide encounters something in the funhouse that is truly astonishing and horrifying that traumatises her for decades without her ever revealing what she went through. Fast forward to the present day where Adelaide is a happily married mother of two children Zora & Jason her husband being Gabe Wilson. What starts out as a fairly routine family vacation by the beach soon escalates in an unimaginable horror where the entire family will have to fight for their lives against the most inexplicable enemy they could ever imagine…. themselves.
Jordan Peele his fast becoming renowned for his out of the box concept paranormal films which are a clear homage to the iconic Twilight Zone television series which he has stated is a major influence of inspiration for his films. How Peele takes the wild and unconventional storytelling methods from the Twilight Zone and combines them with relevant socio-political issues is nothing short of amazing. Much like Get Out dealt with the underlying racism and objectification of black Americans by white people, Us also deals with being an allegory for another current societal issue. Us focuses on the “Tethered” who are a race of doppelgangers that are forced to reside in the literal underbelly of American society that being the tunnels and sewers scattered across the country. The tethered are a clear metaphor for the marginalized of American society that being the poor & people of colour who are ostracized from society whilst those at the top of the food chain so to say enjoy the benefits of their labour and sacrifices to live comfortable and lavish lives. The subsequent uprising of the Tethered feels like a homage to the prediction of Karl Marx that the working class (poor and marginalized individuals in society) will eventually rise up and destroy the middle class and upper class of society to create a society where the marginalized will finally be free of the yoke of slavery and oppression. This is something very relevant in our current global political climate where many people feel like the neoliberal capitalist system has only served to enrich a few whilst the majority and marginalized are doomed to be nothing more than modern day slaves. Another theme that one will pick up from the film is how Peele tackles the aspect of every human being having a shadow version of themselves capable of great evil and violence & that it just takes the right circumstances to bring it out. The concept of duality within the human soul is concept that this film explores very broadly as the story line progresses.
I love how Us subverts so many expectations that the general audience has grown to expect from horror films. It was marketed as a new type of home invasion horror but in actuality the film evolves into something more complex and terrifying which makes watching it so enthralling & engrossing. In terms of how characters typically behave within a horror film I have always found helpless characters who cannot defend themselves extremely tedious and boring but that is not the case with Us as the Wilson family actually kicks a lot of ass in during their battle against the Tethered. Lupita Nyongo gives an absolute masterclass in acting as she proves why she an Oscar level actor giving an unprecedented amount of range as she portrays both the main protagonist who is motherly & courageous whilst her Tethered opposite is her antithesis being sadistic absolutely frightening. But in all honesty props must be given to the entire cast of Us as everyone played their dark doppelgangers perfectly the differences between the humans and their Tethered counterparts were so startling it boggles the mind.
Us in my humble opinion is one of the best horror films ever crafted and is a shining example of what happens when Hollywood gives a previously unproven voice the full creative control and opportunity to showcase a bold new visionary take that both elevates and reinvigorates an iconic cinematic genre. This is already one of the best films of 2019 and you would be remiss not to experience it in all its unique splendor at your local cinema.
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