Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Anyone who’s seen “Get Out” knows that Jordan Peele is a genius. I was such a big fan, so I knew I had to see “Us.” The first trailer kind of freaked me out. It showed two identical families, but there was something off about one of them. The vision of the gold pair of scissors shown in the movie poster entered my head before I saw the movie.
For those of you who have seen “Us,” you probably left the theater saying, “What the heck did I just watch?” That’s what I thought while leaving. I had heard that the ending was confusing, so I prepared myself. I understood some of the ending, but overall I had no idea what had happened.
Leaving the theater, everyone was reviewing the movie with utter confusion. I think that’s what makes this movie so desirable. It’s not your basic horror movie. Jordan Peele uses mind-boggling details that I truly don’t understand how he thinks of. Let’s dive into a few ideas in the movie that are done impeccably, and make you want to know more.
The characters and their doubles
The movie starts off in 1986 when a little girl sees her doppelgänger. It’s extremely creepy, but most of us knew the movie was about a family and its creepy counterparts. Later on, she’s an adult with her own family staying at a house near the beach that she had seen her double at when she was little.
Suddenly, they see a family in their driveway in red holding hands. When the mysterious family enters their home, they realize it’s them, but different. In my opinion, it took a while for the movie to finally show the other family. Since I was anticipating it, I thought it would happen sooner. It was still done very well.
We come to find out that the intruding family isn’t nice. A series of fights occur that left me on the edge of my seat with anxiety.
To me, the most shocking thing about the red doubles was that it wasn’t only their family that had them. Everyone in the movie has one, which is terrifying. I won’t go into too much detail and give anything away, but it was an element that I didn’t expect.
Some people don’t notice the music in movies, but I definitely did with “Us.” I watched “Get Out” for a second time a few days before seeing “Us” and noted that the dramatic music added to the movie immensely.
I also noticed the music right away when watching “Us.” Peele chose loud, somber music at times when something simple happens, which ends up making it creepier than it seems. For example, when the family is doing something as simple as driving, the background music was all I could focus on.
Music makes a normal moment feel ominous. It turns out most of the time the moment isn’t so normal after all.
Symbolism isn’t just for English class
The symbolism in Peele’s movies is insane. I don’t know how his mind works, but it definitely makes for some great movies.
There are multiple symbols in “Us” that we don’t even realize are symbols, or we see them and have no idea what they mean. For example, there’s a homeless man at the beginning holding a cardboard sign that says “Jeremiah 11:11.” The “11:11” ends up being a reoccurring theme in the movie. I think that was an interesting choice because of what the verse says, and because many people make a wish when they see the clock says “11:11.” I looked up the verse right away, because I knew it had to mean something. That was one of the few symbols that I actually understood early on in the film.
Another recurring symbol is rabbits. I’m still not positive what they were supposed to mean, but they were shown a few times. At the beginning, in conjunction with loud music, were cages of rabbits. Then, when they first show the normal family, the daughter is wearing a T-shirt with a rabbit on it. The animal ends up coming full circle at the end, but I don’t know why Peele chose them.
Peele’s ideas of America
When I left the theater, I looked up a video further explaining the movie. I knew that Peele usually tackles the idea of black and white culture. He also referenced the campaign done in 1986 called “Hands Across America,” where millions of Americans stood in a human chain holding hands across the country.
The title of the movie can also be read as “US”, like the United States. I won’t give away the significance of the “Hands Across America” campaign, but he came up with something pretty genius. At the end, I think his message of black and white culture can be interpreted by anyone.
There’s a white family in the movie that plays a significant role. Peele definitely wanted to share a message about America and culture, as he did with “Get Out” as well.
If you haven’t seen “Us”, and you don’t mind some thrilling scenes, I highly recommend it. I always look forward to what Jordan Peele does, whether it’s a thriller or a comedy. I personally like movies that make me think.
Most horror movies don’t take too much thought, but this one is an immersive experience that will have you thinking for days. It might sound weird to call a movie immersive, but I guarantee you’ll be googling it for quite some time.
I still wonder how Peele comes up with these ideas. He truly has a mind of his own. I can’t wait for what he comes up with next, because I know it’ll have my brain working hard.