Did We Enjoy It?
I’m not good with horror movies. Even the ones that are so bad that it’s funny (IT the clown, Insidious that kind of TRASH) and although I know they’re terrible, I’m usually the one left overthinking and scared shitless when it comes to sleeping. So to my joy, after leaving the cinema late at night, I felt unaffected. I thoroughly enjoyed the film yes, but after thinking I was going to leave the cinema scarred, I felt suprisingly chill. It didn’t have serious jump scares and the blood and gore was pretty mild. However, as the night went on my mind became clouded with the sound of the films sinister music, the characters and the concept of the film. I realised that this film managed to creep under my skin without me even noticing. It wasn’t scary per say, but their are aspects that are actually lowkey terrifying. Some will walk away thinking “Well that was bloody weird’ or “that wasn’t even scary”. It absolutely is weird and yes, rather than ‘jump scare’ horror, this was more of a psychological thriller with it’s feeling of claustrophobia created using doppelgängers who were willing to follow the protagonists everywhere to kill them and wanting to take their time doing it. But there was something about this film. Something that is scary. It’s weird nature created a sense of unease throughout through the slow, ever-approaching sense of dread which kept us on the edge of our seats. We were first introduced to the main protagonist; Adelaide’s doppelgänger at the very start, and then that fear of what we witnessed lingers for the first act, leaving us looking over our shoulder and feeling as trapped as the protagonists. Peele also understands that what is truly terrifying is what’s really going on in the world. He adds an extra layer of social and political messages in his movies, even if it’s not too obvious at a first glance.
The acting in this film is insane. It blew me away how Lupita Nyong’o completely got lost in the two roles she played. She brought humanity to her role as Adelaid and really made the audience feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety with the build up of being introduced to her doppelgänger. Her other performance as her ‘other self’ was really unsettling for me. The monologue when she comes to the house and tells us her story in that voice…horror or not, she is one of the scariest characters I’ve ever seen in film. Winston Duke gave a noteworthy performance as the loveable dad with his comedic charm with lines such as ‘why use the internet when you’ve got the outernet’ but still scowls at the face of his doppelganger. The child actors were impressively creepy, especially Evan Alex. The whole cast gave it their all with all of them having to play two versions of themselves, bringing a different, horrifying personality to their doppelgangers, which relied heavily on physical performances. Bravo.
This was such a refreshing new concept and so creative, clever and yeah, kinda dark. The story expertly turns up tension while keeping its quirky elements in check. The film left us with many questions after the credits and we couldn’t stop talking about it, but this wasn’t a flaw. It makes you think about the story and what it wants to tell the audience even more. I loved the ending.
The story and acting made the film what it was for sure, but Us wouldn’t have been as tense and creepy without it’s soundtrack. The music alone by Michael Abels will get an Oscar Nomination. It made the film. I’ve never had a films score stuck in my head all night which has made me genuinely nervous. And the camera work was the same, no spoilers here but one of the final scenes in the “Underground” will most definitely go down as one of the most iconic shots in film. This is why you need to see this.
Should You See It For Yourselves?
Overall, Us is a terrifying psychological horror that provides the genre with a new Hitchcock type classic. We highly recommend you experience this for yourselves but even if you’ve seen the trailer and think you know what you’re in for, you don’t.