Your own worst enemy

14 April 2019 | Art and Entertainment

It's 1986 and an encounter at an amusement park leaves one young girl so unsettled, she suppresses the memory for more than three decades.

Fast-forward to the present day, the film Us tells the story of Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) who is married to Gabe (Winston Duke), with two relatively well-adjusted kids, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). The Wilsons. Though not quite as wealthy as good friends Josh and Kitty Tyler (Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss), they are the picture of the ideal American family, heading back to Santa Cruz for their summer vacation.

Jason gazes out the front window and eerily announces, “There's a family in our driveway”. Sure enough, there stand four people in silhouette: mother, father, daughter, and son. While Adelaide doesn't hesitate to call the cops, Gabe does the manly thing, all but thumping his chest as he steps outside to confront the unannounced visitors, who freak him out by refusing to acknowledge his macho display.

According to Variety, the four uninvited guests find their way into the Wilsons' living room, and wouldn't you know, they look just like their hosts. Director Jordan Peele doesn't explain much about these mysterious visitors, letting our worst fears run wild as the intruders hover menacingly around the family, dressed in heavy-duty red coveralls. Only Nyong'o's döppelganger can speak, and even then, her words come out strained, as if she's never had reason to talk before. They seem to communicate primarily via sign language and guttural animal noises.

One thing is certain, they do not come in peace, though Peele draws out these early uncertain scenes, taking advantage of the ambiguity for the threat to unfold in our subconscious.

As a fan of horror movies, WE give it 4 out 5.

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