Our Own Worst Enemies
Academy Award-winning director of Get Out, Jordan Peele presents Us with a new nightmare for a family of four who go head-to-head with their demon counterparts.
When Adelaide Wilson (Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o) takes her family to their Santa Cruz beach house and husband Gabe (Winston Duke from Black Panther) sings excitedly along to “I Got 5 On It,” it seems like a perfect getaway. However, any warm and fuzzy nostalgia is swiftly replaced by fear when the family are confronted with unwanted neighbours.
Four masked figures wielding sinister scissors storm the house. Meet the Tethered - the counterparts of each family member, including child actors Shahadi Wright Joseph (soon to be Young Nala in The Lion King) and Evan Alex. The Tethered appear to represent a shadow-like repressed side of the family’s human opposites.
Following his horror and social commentary success Get Out, Peele is keen to keep the audience on the back foot as to what is reality and what is really going on beneath the mask(s). Cue jumping-out-of-your-seat moments and mysterious white rabbits placed throughout the film. What is clear, though, is that each character must confront dark inner demons or face the life-threatening external consequences.
But who will win out in the end…them or Us?
Speaking The Language Of Horror
While unusual for a writer/director to share their influences on a live project, Jordan Peele assigned Nyong’o ten genre definers to study so she’d have a “shared language” for creating Us. Here’s three from that list:
Spielberg nailed the premise of creating suspense through what’s off-screen as much as what’s seen. Us promises an unseen monster element in a more human horror story.
The Shining (1980)
The cult King/Kubrick classic explores the horrors within a personality, and its destructive effect on family. Expect this in Us, particularly with matriarchal character Adelaide Wilson.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
A supernatural horror with unsettling reality from M. Night Shyamalan, master of the surprise ending. Will Peele spring his own upon us here?