In 2017 writer/director Jordan Peele delivered a finely-crafted slice of horror with “Get Out”. His directorial debut was a smash hit, and he even picked up an Academy Award for his work. When a filmmaker sees that much success their first time out of the gate, they will undoubtedly feel the pressure to top themselves on their sophomore film. There lies one of the biggest issues with “Us”, and expertly directed and wonderfully acted horror film that tries to get too ambitious with the narrative.
The story centers on the Wilson family, Gabe (Winston Duke), his wife Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). During their weekend vacation at the beach, the Wilson’s find themselves being terrorized by their doppelgängers (the cast playing dual roles). “Us” is at its best when the characters are facing off against the alternate versions of themselves, but then the story takes a turn when we learn where the doppelgängers come from and that is where the whole thing began to lose me. It is difficult to get into what doesn’t work without spoiling the twists and turns throughout the second half of “Us”. I will say this, even though I left the theater ultimately disappointed, there is enough solid horror in “Us” to still recommend a viewing.
By: Marc Ferman