A family of four travels to Santa Cruz for their annual summer vacation at the mothers childhood home. After an interesting day at the beach where they connect with friends the family heads home. That night they find themselves under siege by four individuals, all of whom are identical to themselves.
In an era where the horror genre is over saturated with sequels, remakes, and spinoffs, Us is a welcome breath of fresh air. Director Jordan Peele does it again as he makes a unique horror film that sets itself apart from the competition. Us is a great film. The acting is top-notch from all of the characters. Each of the family members plays their counterpart as well, giving opportunity to show range. Actress Lupita Nyong’o really displays her acting chops as she portrays main character Adelaide and her doppelgänger Red. My favorite character in the movie was Red and her dynamic with Adelaide. Red is believed to be the villain when it’s revealed that she had her life stolen from her by Adelaide who is actually the copy. The attention to detail with the lives of the two women was great. Red, having been a little girl before being forced to live underground hasn’t had the chance to use her speech in decades since none of the other copies are capable of speech. The first time in years that she speaks is when she’s sitting across from Adelaide, her voice is broken, harsh, and pained. With Adelaide, I liked how she’s shown to still be compassionate about the lives of Reds family because they’re copies just like she is even though she didn’t raise them.
The story is great up to around the third act where things become confusing. After the initial scuffle with their copies, Adelaide’s family flees to their friend’s house and we see their friends family killed in their home by their copies. This is where the movie reveals that everyone has a copy of themselves who’s out for blood and it’s kind of where things start to get a little iffy plot wise. The copies are a result of a long abandoned government experiment underground in which they were looking to find a way to control the original humans above. As explained in the movie, the clones and originals were linked or tethered because although the experiment could duplicate the body, it couldn’t do the same for the soul, resulting in the originals and the copies being tethered to each other as they are sharing a soul. As a result, the copies would be forced to mimic the actions of the originals above ground. For example, there are people riding a roller coaster on the surface, underground we see a group of tethers mimic the movements of their counterparts as if they were riding a roller coaster as well. This connection complicates things because it doesn’t explain how the connection is broken allowing all the copies to leave the tunnels and kill their counterparts. The copies are being forced into the mimicking actions against their will, as Red explains, they’re even forced to have families with other copies simply because their counterpart does. It’s possible that somewhere down the line the copies figure out how to break this tether, but that isn’t really explained in the movie.
Overall, Us is a great movie. It manages to bring new concepts and ideas to the horror genre and executes them well enough. The acting is superb, especially from the main actress. The story is also good and orginal. Although, the second half of the film makes things a bit confusing, it’s still an enjoyable experience.