The Space Between “Us”

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Wikipedia Public Domain

By Source, Fair use,

Cameron Thomas, Copy Editor

The Vision Review Report Card: A

  • Cinematography: A+
  • Musical Score: A+
  • Plot Development: B+
  • Theme: A-
  • Acting: A

Having a chill caressing your spine inch by inch every time you hear the violin play the malice rendition of “I Got 5 On It,” “Us” will have you guessing until the very end… when you realize that you were completely wrong. With the surplus of bunnies in the film, director Jordan Peele was sure to hide every Easter egg that he could get his hands on, leaving the audience helpless when searching for that golden egg. Though it fails to surpass its predecessor, “Get Out,” “Us” definitely sets an entirely different bar of how a horror movie should be structured and perceived.

First and foremost, let’s discuss this brilliant trailer for the movie. It was a beautifully crafted and ghastly story within itself. However, it was misleading in plenty of senses. For one, it lead the audience into thinking “Us” was going to be terrifying when in all actuality the trailer was more terrifying than the movie itself. If you go into the movie theater to see “Us” with the intent of being scared, you will gradually begin to hate yourself as each second of the movie glides by. Peele has trouble sticking to one genre, which can be rather deceiving to the audiences.

To enjoy the movie to its fullest extent, there has to be this type of pure objectivity and a mindset welcoming to something different because Peele’s twisted creativity is far from conventional. If you’re one of those people who wants everything to be linear and the theme to be explicitly stated, “Us” is most definitely NOT the movie for you. For most audiences, however, “Us” will have them as captivated as they are confused, urging them to watch the movie again in search of those well-hidden Easter eggs planted within the movie.

The cinematography in the movie was phenomenal. Peele’s varied use of camera angles and his strategy in organizing the order of the scenes was essential in telling the story in a non-linear way. It was as if the movie was backwards in a sense because of the credits scene at the beginning which lasted in the duration of an entire song (the song probably had some type of demonic intent, but it was almost possessive, as if you couldn’t resist tapping your feet to the African beat).

When exploring underlying themes, I can honestly say that there were too many of them to actually grasp a hold on one of them, and the disappointing part was that Peele never really fully addressed any of them to their fullest. My original thought was that he was going to play with the idea of “we are our own worst enemies,” but I think it is safe to say that “Us” was far more complicated than some cliche and obvious underlying theme.

My personal favorite theme was Peele’s play on “Us” and the U.S. The tethered people never got the equal opportunity to live and enjoy life like regular humans; therefore, they do a protest, if I may call it that, by killing their doppelgangers thus rising and standing up for what they believe is right. When asked who they are, Red responded, “We’re Americans.” Being the most monumental line in the movie, it symbolizes the hypocrisy of this supposedly all-inclusive melting pot, also known as the United States.

In comparison with “Get Out,” “Us” is, in my opinion, the lesser of the two.”Get Out” was a solid and unpredictable film that was very sure of its intent, for everything seemed to piece together in the end. Though “Us” maintained that spontaneous nature, it did not follow through on what it was trying to convey. The flaw here is that there are too many questions, so that brings about one huge question: did Peele go too far?

Nevertheless, “Us” presents a gory yet magnificent story of social inequality and conflicts within self. Peele has most definitely set the movie apart from the rest this year, being the best of 2019 so far. But don’t take my word for it; go see it for yourself and feel as the intensity rises and as the edge of your seat gets warmer. Don’t blink or you’ll be sure to miss some piece to the puzzle in solving the biggest mystery that has yet to be solved: what else does Peele have up his sleeve?