Peele back the layers of new horror Us

Us is written and directed by Jorden Peele and is his follow up to the award-winning Get Out. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as parents of two young children who are confronted by four intruders at their holiday home in Santa Cruz. The family soon realize that the four intruders are in fact doppelgängers of themselves, led by Lupita Nyong’o’s double, the sinisterly voiced, Red. Once the evil doppelgängers have invaded their home the family are split up in true horror movie fashion and a night of terror begins.

Us is highly entertaining from beginning to end with the talented cast performing dual roles as the terrorised family and their evil twins. And, yes Us is funny in all the right places thanks to Peele’s script and direction, which never detracts you away from what is a truly scary movie.

Lupita Nyong’o performance is mesmerising so much so that it’s hard to believe she plays both parts. It’s great to see Black Panther’s Winston Duke in such a different role, playing the father, who provides much of the comedic relief in the film. The two young actors, Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph, are also phenomenal.

Every scary movie needs its ominous music and Michael Abels delivers as he returns to collaborate with Peele in only his second outing as a film composer. This score should definitely go down as one of horror’s best.

Is this Peele’s troubled second album? Well, it’s definitely troubling – with some truly unique horror sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat. This beautifully directed film is certainly more of a pure horror movie and more ambiguous than its predecessor. And, that’s where the fault lies for Us. Being the follow up to the simply brilliant Get Out meant that maybe my expectation for this movie was a little too high? So, my advice would be to not go in expecting the concise and clear metaphors of Get Out but to lower your expectations a little and simply enjoy.

There’s less obvious social commentary than in Peele’s inaugural movie and the ambiguous allegory in Us will definitely warrant a second viewing. If you liked TV favourites The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone or Black Mirror with a horror twist or a more complex version of 2008’s Strangers then Us is the movie for you.

Reviewed by Ian Wright.

4 stars