"We're Americans": Us Film Review

By Sonya Sexton and Yzzy Arias

Jordan Peele’s second film “Us” is what every horror genre fan wants: brutal killings, tons of blood and being at the edge of your seat.

The psychological horror-thriller was released on March 22, and stars Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elisabeth Moss.

Nyong’o's character is Adelaide Wilson, a wife and mother who had a traumatic experience at a carnival funhouse when she was a child that haunts her through her adult life. While on vacation, she confides in her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) that she has a "hunch feeling" that something has been following her and that there are too many coincidences occurring related to her traumatic experience. Suddenly, a group of doppelgängers known as Tethered appear on their driveway and terrorize the Wilson family in hopes to “untether” them.

This film is ambiguous in the sense that it’s a mind-bending experience that tests the limitations of what a horror film can be. "Us" tackles themes of the state of poverty and wealth, as well as social and racial statuses in the United States. It has audience members questioning the duality of how they view everyday people and how they view their enemy.

Throughout the film, Peele provides pockets of comic relief between scenes with ironic jokes and happy relief moments paired with good use of music and sound, by jumping back and forth between a chilling and chanting orchestral score and pop songs.

Jordan Peele did a wonderful job with his sophomore film, "US". The suspense of the film kept audience members on the edge of our seats for the entire 2 hours.

Peele wrote a suspenseful script that threw in several plot twists that no one was expecting. Lupita Nyong’o did a wonderful job playing two roles that were the complete opposite of each other. In my opinion, this was one of her best performances to date. Because of her portrayal of both Adelaide and her “tethered,” I became really invested in her story and the survival of her family. I felt the same fear she felt when she was back on the beach and could not find her son, Jason. I was cheering her on when she was fighting to get free and save the rest of her family to safety. The way that Jordan ended the movie was very telling.

After talking with others who have seen the film, I believe the message behind the film was that those who have been oppressed are now fighting to have their time in the light, and they will not stop until their voices are heard all over the world. This message is relevant to the struggles that are still going on to this day in America.

Grade: B