Things you Didn’t Notice the First Time Watching Us

I’m no famous movie critic, but Us was fantastic. Probably the smartest and most beautiful horror movie made, Us is a puzzling commentary on class and privilege. It urges viewers to criticize how easily we embrace and forget the history and mistakes of the American identity, but also, who we are at the core of our individual selves.


Intense, I know.


But the beauty of movies so complicated and rich in detail like Us is that no matter how many times you watch it, it always ends up revealing new things to you. My second time watching, I couldn’t help but notice the many Easter eggs I had missed the first time I had watched Jordan Peele’s shocking thriller.


For the sake of those who haven’t watched Peele’s second movie, SPOILERS AHEAD.


So, what we already know is that the movie symbolizes the oppression of lower class people and that the government, along with the rest of society, has ultimately abandoned them in the pursuit of further wealth and establishment. Ultimately, by ignoring our history of systematic oppression, we as a country leave the door wide open for a rebellious uprising.


Adelaide, the mom, represents your normal, everyday suburban mom who is raising a well-off family. They have a vacation home, and her husband Gabe has even bought a little boat (in an attempt to compete with their wealthy friends next door). What we don’t realize until the very end is that back in 1986, Adelaide was kidnapped by her tether, or her clone, and left in the abandoned underground tunnels where the tethers were left to live out their miserable lives until they died. While Red, the original tether, begins living a lavish life of ballet dancing, falling in love and having children, the real Adelaide is forced to live a parallel life that is full of suffering and misery. For over twenty years, Adelaide plans her revenge to get back her life- and to avenge the rest of the tethers.


Whew, that was a lot. But you would be surprised at what you missed out the first time watching Us:


1. Hands Across America was a real thing.

That commercial wasn’t just a fake promo. The charitable act happened on May 26, 1986, and was supposed to be a follow up to the “We Are the World” single’s impact. The campaign cost nearly $50 million, only to make $16 million and not even half of that go towards donations. It was a real failure, and unfortunately a great lesson about how society often fails those that need help the most.


2. Who is that weirdo on the beach?

When the younger son, Jason, slips off to go to the bathroom at the beach, he sees a strange figure. All we can see is fingers dripping with blood. However, we later see this same figure

later on when Red makes her way to the funhouse to confront Adelaide. This time, we see his disturbing face- smiling up at the sky, with 11:11 marked on his head. He is none other than the tether of the homeless man that had been killed in the beginning- and also the man holding up the eerie Jeremiah 11:11 sign when Adelaide was a child at the boardwalk that fateful night. This homeless man was the first tether to kill his other and make his way back to the Hands Across America formation—a sign of what was to come. Also referencing Jeremiah 11:11;

“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.”


3. The tethers mimic all movement, so what was that fight scene all about?

When Jason is forced to entertain his tether, Pluto, he quickly realizes that the tethers mirror their real selves’ movement. We can also see this when Gabe pushes up his glasses, and Abraham awkwardly does the same despite not wearing glasses. It seems weird then that when Adelaide and Red fight, their movements are completely off. ‘Adelaide’ (who is really Red) and Red (who is really Adelaide) are hinting that they are ultimately, not who you think they are. The real Adelaide, who we still think is Red, is the one who had formal dance training. The real Red, in turn, took up training only after she switched places with Adelaide. This means the real Adelaide is graceful, calculating and patient, while the real Red is forceful, agitated and aggressive, leading to sloppy moves and heated grunts. Which brings me to my next point…


4. Adelaide gone wild?

Now, I love a good horror movie where the quiet, shy girl goes buck wild at the villain/monster and becomes an ultimate badass. For most audiences, when Adelaide goes back into rich friends Kitty and Josh’s house, it’s an amazing moment. Seeing Adelaide boss up and beat the sh*t out of one of the freaky twin daughters is just cool as it is, but it also has a deeper meaning. This altercation shows us the beast in Adelaide—literally. She grunts like crazy, her eyes become wild, and she seems like a crazy animal until Jason appears. And then suddenly, she’s back to normal! We see this again when Red and Adelaide have their final showdown, with Red dying a tragic death, whistling to the tune of itsy-bitsy-spider and Adelaide goes full-animal on her again. When Jason is revealed to be hiding there, Adelaide is quick to tell him that it’s her, and that everything is back to normal. But the truth is, Adelaide isn’t Adelaide, and we should’ve seen this all along because her true nature is revealed every time ‘Adelaide’, aka Red, fights someone. She starts acting rather…tetherish, mimicking their grunts, stumbling movement and aggressiveness.


5. The son may have been the tether all along

One popular theory floating around right now is that Jason may have been tethered right in front of our own eyes. Us starts off with the family arriving at their Santa Cruz vacation house, where they all sit to have a meal. Suddenly, the family reveals that Jason has barely been eating. Furthermore, he starts using curse words that he has never used before, confusing his parents who know him as a shy but polite boy. We also see him forgetting how to work one of his magic tricks, which is weird considering he was able to do it the last time they were at their vacation house. Before Jason goes off to the bathroom at the beach, right near Adelaide’s feared funhouse, he mentions to Kitty and Josh’s twin daughters that he’s digging and has found tunnels under the beach. Hmm, tunnels? Like the tunnels found underneath the funhouse that the tethers live in? Interesting.

While the plot timeline may throw this theory off, it’s still something to consider since we can see that the real Adelaide steals Jason away from Red, and that Jason is the only one who seems to know what Red is really hiding.


Catch Us, the newest horror movie by Jordan Peele, in theaters now! Let us know what you think about the movie.