Film Columnist | Erin Leonard
Burdened with high expectations, Jordan Peele’s sophomore feature was always at risk of falling into the shadows of his much-acclaimed debut, Get Out. But Us is a film truly worthy of its own acclaim. Led by Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, the ensemble cast made sure that Peele’s intelligent script successfully made its way onto the big screen. The competition in the horror industry is ever increasing, but Peele remains at the top of his game — an amazing feat for someone so new to the directorial role.
Us follows the disturbing days that ensues after a family’s holiday getaway is invaded by their doppelgängers. From start to end, the film keeps its audience engaged and is sprinkled with clever ‘Easter eggs’ that Peele incorporates so effortlessly. From a cinematographic stance, the film is absolutely stunning to watch; the artistry of Mike Gioulakis (also the cinematographer for Shyamalan’s Glass) reflecting in every shot.
Increasing evidence has emerged that Get Outand Uscould exist within the same universe, much as Shyamalan’s most recent film has shown. Theories have emerged about almost every character and relationship within the film, analyzing the connotations of each intricate decision that has been made. It has become a part of watching films such as these to discuss the film in depth afterwards, eliciting a sense of social interaction surrounding the film that many horrors miss the mark with. A movie which incites conversation is inarguably a success, especially considering the underlying social commentary that runs through Jordan Peele films.
Perhaps one of the most essential aspects of Usis the soundtrack. It added layers to the viewing experience, giving a feeling of intensity which puts the audience on edge. Michael Abels returned to Peele’s team after his work on Get Out attracted critical acclaim. The score and the camerawork came together to create an essence of high art; Abel drawing the opportunity to amplify the vast importance of sound in a way that is often missed by other thrillers.
After receiving four Oscar nominations for Get Out, people are already discussing what new acclaim Peele can anticipate for Us.With the outstanding collaboration of such well-regarded artists on the screen, Usprovided a platform for rising stars Shahadi Wright-Joseph and Evan Alex to show the world their potential. Jordan Peele has successfully set a precedent of black excellence within his films, both on and off-screen, and his future promises to draw the attention of the critics. Everyone can agree that the film has successfully reached the high expectations it was set, but what everyone is wondering now is: What is next for Peele?