Review: Jordan Peele's "Us"

By: Jennie Hirsch


I would bet a large sum of money on the statement that Jordan Peele will never fail to amaze me with any movie he makes, and as of now I would still win that bet because of his newest movie Us. With its beautiful cinematography, award winning cast and interesting plot, this film is definitely one of a kind.

When comparing Us to Peele’s other well-known film Get Out, I would argue that the plot definitely has a sense of ambiguity when it comes to its overarching message. Some critics have said that the doubles from the underground represent the dark side that lives within everyone. A side that can, and sometimes will, fight and win against the socially acceptable self that most people project. When this darkness wins, people unite and stand together. Peele could also be attempting to make a political statement by directing all of the doubles to imitate the “Hands Across America” symbol as a way to represent the republican push to build a wall. Over all, I would not recommend sitting down with your friends and trying to figure out the whole movie like I did because it will really just throw you down a rabbit hole.

As for the relationship between Adaline and Jason, they definitely seem to have a strong connection that is unique between the two of them. Adaline’s reaction to Jason wandering off to go to the bathroom during the beach scene meant that she sees the same tendencies in him that she had as a young child, and therefore wants to protect him from his curiosity. There are also theories that Jason has traits of the red people since Adaline is actually a red person, which connects them even further. Jason also seems to be the only person who knows Adaline’s secret since he was the only one who witnessed her kill anyone, which made her unwillingly display her natural traits and reveal her true self to him. Jason’s body language and facial expression towards his mother in the ending ambulance scene suggests his loss of trust in her.

The symbols included by Peele were very fun to figure out for me as I was watching this film. My favorite one was Peele’s decision to change the typical Amazon Alexa’s name to Ophelia. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia is Hamlet’s love interest who ends up killing herself, which is extremely ironic since the characters in Us are technically killing themselves. One other salient symbol is the title of the movie. Us is pretty much the same as the acronym for the United States. This connects back to red Adaline’s response of “We are Americans” when answering human Adaline’s question of “Who are you people?”. In the beginning of the film, young Adaline walks past a man holding a sign that said Jeremiah 11:11, or “Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.” When red Adaline is explaining herself to Adaline, she says that God brought them together and God showed her the path she should take in life. This bible verse is pretty much the plan that red Adaline formulated to get her revenge. This also happened to line up with Peele’s repetition of mirroring dualities since the verse number is 11:11. Speaking of mirroring dualities, there were a ton. From the frisbee to the scissors which have blades that mirror each other, this movie definitely wants you to figure it out through symbolism.

Personally, I have never been good at watching horror movies, but this movie is worth your money no matter how scared you get. There are quite a few jump scares that will really get you, but Peele does a great job at warning you about them with the great score that is super unique. I never thought I would laugh during this movie, and I was surprised when I did when the song “F*** the Police” started playing. But don’t get me wrong, the score also consists of those classic horror movie string pieces that never fail to creep anyone out. I would recommend seeing it in theaters with people and a blanket like I did if you easily get freaked out from these kinds of movies.

Overall, I don’t regret seeing Us, and I think everyone should see it if they’re up for it. To me, it’s the perfect horror movie because it has thrilling aspects as well as a unique and interesting storyline.


Photo Credit: cover, 1, 2