Jordan Peele shocks “Us” again with his second horror flick

Peele’s follow up to “Get Out” is a creepy but intelligent horror film that is stunning viewers across the nation.

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Jordan Peele shocks “Us” again with his second horror flick

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Chris Baeza, Freelance Writer

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Children are generally praised for their ability to see life through innocent eyes. However, there comes a time when the horrors of this world become reality, changing our childhood with a single traumatic event that haunts us for the rest of our lives. The pain and fear do not just go away after our traumatic experience. The effects can linger until the day we die. “Us” reminds us that psychological trauma is real and can literally haunt us until death.

Jordan Peele’s sophomore endeavor creates a feeling of unease from the very start of the movie. Viewers are then gripped by intense moments of eerie yet sophisticated horror over the two-hour feature. Just like Peele’s first film “Get Out,” “Us” demands complete focus through its gripping, metaphorical nature. Peele amazes with his ability to create complicated plot lines while still maintaining the integrity of a genuinely terrifying horror film. Reuniting after both actors starred in “Black Panther,” Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke take center stage for Peele’s second feature. In fact, Nyong’o is the clear lead in the film and Duke takes a secondary role, breaking the traditional “damsel in distress” theme in the horror genre. As Nyong’o shines through her duplicitous portrayal of what heroine Adelaide Wilson and her twisted doppelganger Red, audiences are reminded why the young actress is arguable one of the best in the industry right now. Nyong’o already deserves Oscar consideration despite only being three months into 2019.

Not until the second act do the audiences realize that “Us” is set in a present-day apocalyptic scenario. The verse Jeremiah 11:11 pops up numerous times in the film, which feeds into and pushes the apocalyptic theme further. Peele demonstrates how quickly the civility of our modern society will disappear if catastrophe overcomes our world. With seismic bloodshed looming, Peele’s film explores the concepts of nature and nurture, as exemplified through the ongoing conflict between Adelaide and Red. In the midst of this fight-or-flight scenario, Adelaide comes to grips with her motherhood as she realizes she must protect her family. As the characters develop throughout the film, the two are faced with the decisions to care for their loved ones at every cost or let nature take its course.

Peele’s thought-provoking horror film is not easy to swallow after one bite. “Us” has loads of symbolism and complicated plot twists that will leave viewers in shock and awe. “Us” is another excellent addition to the horror genre. It raises the bar and demands that terrifying films also be sophisticated and thought-provoking. Though only his second film as director, Peele deserves all the praise and acclaim that he will get for this outstanding project.