Movie director Jordan Peele’s movie Us premiered in theaters March 22. The highly-anticipated horror film set a new box office record with a $70 million domestic opening weekend. Although the numbers are high, the messages of the film can be hard to grasp for audience members. Peele is notorious for creating films that require audiences to think outside the box in order to fully understand the film. The film is not easy to digest and requires a deeper look.
Set in Santa Clara, CA, the film opens with a young couple accompanied by their young daughter at a fair. Eventually, a family of doppelgangers imitating the family appears in the driveway of their vacation home. It is here the main plot of the film commences. Armed with weapons, the Wilsons are now in a fight of survival with their twin doppelgangers.
“The tethered” is the name given to the invading doppelgangers. They come with the sole intent of killing their clones. Although the concept is hard to understand at first, Peele must be credited for creating such a daring concept. However, there are reasons extending beyond the plot that showcase the beauty of the film.
Overall the imagery of the film was spectacular. Peele’s artistic excellence was on full display with breathtaking scenes throughout the film. The imagery alone is enough to make the film worth the watch. When the film is lacking in action, the imagery is enough to keep the audience preoccupied. Even more important, much of the imagery in the film has hidden meanings and through this, it is another piece to the long puzzle that is Us.
Although the film’s genre is horror, Peele’s comedy background is showcased through the character Gabe. Often, Gabe provides the audience with comedic commentary during intense moments in the film. It can be perceived that this comedic relief is used to keep the audience off balanced. Suspenseful moments in the film followed by comedic commentary maintains the suspense that is critical for a horror film to impact its audience.
The message of the film is filled with religious undertones and self-awareness. The religious undertones have been hidden in plain sight throughout the film. The number 11 first appears in the film on a cardboard box being held up by a homeless man. It also appears later when Gabe points out the hours on the clock when the electricity goes out in their home. The number 11 takes a prominent role in this as it references Jeremiah 11:11 in the Christian Bible.
In summary, the verse warns of evil attacking those who worship false idols and are unappreciative. This can correlate to the theme of the movie as the tethered people are the evil who attacks those who live above ground as they are unappreciative of their living situation. The film is referring to the current state of America as well. The film warns of evil if Americans continue to worship false idols. Americans are also often perceived as unappreciative.
The beauty in the film Us is that it leaves room for interpretation. The film did a wonderful job of stimulating the minds of the audience members while simultaneously developing multiple subplots. It is clear plenty of effort and patience went into the creation of this film. Although this film is not easy to follow it is a must- see for anyone interested in cinematic masterpieces.