When Jordan Peele was busy making us laugh as one half of the sketch comedy show Key & Peele, who knew he would actually find his calling in the horror genre? First dazzling fans of cinema with 2017’s critically acclaimed Get Out, he wasted no time getting to work on the cerebral horror thriller Us, just released to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand earlier this week.
An opening flashback circa 1986 serves as a setup for the film. Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave) is shown here in younger form spending an evening at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in California. She gets separated from mom and dad and wanders off into a house of mirrors where she is confronted by what appears to be a reflection that has a mind of its own. Later on, we find out since the traumatizing incident she has chosen not to, or is unable, to speak.
Fast-forward to present day and Wilson is all grown up, seemingly well off and with a husband (Winston Duke, Black Panther) and two kids of her own. They take a trip to a beach house located coincidentally just a short drive to the same boardwalk seen earlier, which she reluctantly agrees to visit. Afterwards, things take a turn for the worse where a set of doppelgängers visits the family, garbed in red jumpsuits and holding a pair of oversized scissors, the villain’s weapon of choice.
Us quickly transitions into a slasher albeit a thoughtful one — of notable mention is what ends up transpiring at friend and neighbour Kitty Tyler’s (Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men) house. Peele never makes it overtly obvious what the underlying theme really is here, but there are definitely Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vibes, as well as the issue of class that becomes more evident toward the penultimate scene of the movie.
Pop culture references and hidden Easter eggs abound in the picture, from the Michael Jackson Thriller tee Wilson is wearing at the beginning to the numerous appearance of rabbits, certainly warranting a re or re-re-watch to pick them all out.
Us is available now.