Movie Review: Us, Tense and Terrifying
I started the movie noping the theater. The previews were finally done and the logos were playing. Then, the first two lights in the theater started flashing. Freaked me out. I don’t know if that was on purpose but we’ll done. All the lights flashed at the end of the movie too. It was scary but also funny. Like when you’re watching a horror movie, your pet moves and you scramble across the room like you’re about to be attacked.
The trailer definitely prepared us for some serious scares.
Was Us really as scary as the trailer showed? Yup. As a lifelong horror fan, this movie freaked me out. But, it wasn’t so terrifying that I wouldn’t watch it again.
I don’t have a problem with jumpscare. They can be effective when done right. Most horror movies lean into this too much. I was happy Jordan Peele didn’t use jumpscares. At least I can’t remember if he did. He relied on the soundtrack, the way the characters moved, their expression, even their voices to thoroughly freak you out. The tension had me so wound up, I couldn’t relax. That soundtrack was well done. Reminded me of some classic horror movies.
This cast can act. They were good as their “regular” selves. A well-off family on vacation but they also played their doppelgangers. The contrast was impressive, especially Evan Alex who played the youngest son. His doppelganger was particularly terrifying.
I liked how Us ignored a lot of horror trope. The Wilson family were normal. The father wasn’t a deadbeat or distance parent who needed a life or death incident to repair his relationship with his family. The Wilson’s got along. They weren’t perfect but they weren’t completly dysfunctional.
Horror movies tend to put in one child with some kind of medical or mental issues, usually asthma. If the movie has a teenager, they’re so annoying you simply can’t root for them. Jordan Peele wrote Us like he actually met children. Yes, the teenage daughter did spend a lot of time on her phone but she wasn’t annoying about it. She didn’t turn into a weeping, screaming mess when all the scares went down. Yes, she was a little mean to her brother but it wasn’t over the top the way some movies tend to do. The kids were awesome.
I’m actually curious about the younger son’s story. There seems to be more to his background.
M’Baku. I was seriously going to spend the entire review calling him that. But I’m not going to do it. As far as I know, Us is Winston Duke’s first movie outside of Black Panther and Infinity War. He added some comedy to Us but he wasn’t the comic relief. I felt, though, that he was a bit on the side. I liked his characters but I wanted a bit more. He didn’t seem to get developed as much as the others. I wonder if that was on purpose. Us showed he could do more role outside of M’Baku.
Lupita Nyong’o killed it. I really want to know how she did the voice for her doppelganger. Was that special effects or did she make that noise herself?