Us: Good, But Not Great


John DiPietro, Writer

Us is the new movie by Jordan Peele. His previous film, Get Out, was his first feature film and played out as a psychological thriller, while this new one is more horror (or at least has moments of horror). Now, I will say that Us is a good movie, but I don’t think it’s the horror masterpiece that everyone claims to be. Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot of great things going for it like social commentary, ambiguity, comedy relief, as well as a stellar performance by Lupita Nyong’o. Everything leading up to the second act is done masterfully. Jordan Peele is really good at building up tension as well as reincorporating visuals that will later foreshadow events to come. The traumatizing backstory of Lupita’s character was very interesting and made me invested in her story. However, everything that happens after that lost my interest, and eventually it got to the point where it started getting bored.

The second act plays out like a home invasion slasher flick. There were great moments of tension throughout these scenes where the family confronts their evil doubles, but this tension didn’t last that long once I started to see that none of the characters that we cared about were going to die. In order for one to feel any sense of tension in a movie, there must be higher stakes involved.  I can’t feel any sense of fear for the main characters if I can tell that none of them are at any risk of actually dying. This and the sometimes jarring comedic relief really made certain scenes fill lighthearted. It also didn’t help that I was not scared when watching this film. There were moments in this film that disturbed me, but there was never a moment I felt any sense of dread. Another thing that kind of took me out of the movie was the logic. Now, I think for a film like this, you’re not supposed to think logically, but there is a scene where Lupita’s double vomits exposition for a few minutes, explaining the entire situation. This doesn’t help with all with the ridiculous, illogical things that happen in this world, especially in the ending, which raises more questions that were not really needed.

I still enjoyed some aspects of the film, but I think I enjoy hearing all the theories about Us more than about the movie itself. Jordan Peele is a good director who went all out to make a bizarre yet slightly original film. I’m glad to see horror movies make a comeback in recent years.  I’m also glad to see directors like Jordan really make something new and refreshing for the genre instead of making another Conjuring type film. Us is a good horror movie, but it is nowhere near being a masterpiece in horror cinema.