**Slight spoilers ahead for the latest film from filmmaker Jordan Peele, “Us,” which hits theaters this weekend. You’ve been warned**
First and foremost, Jordan Peele’s latest film, “Us,” is an unabashed horror film. Unlike “Get Out,” which can find itself sitting more comfortably in the psychological thriller genre, “Us” goes full-on horror, with the inclusion of its very own “monsters” in the form of the Tethered. But to call “Us” a simple horror film is to do it a great injustice. While it works as a surface-level, scary as hell, film, “Us” is so jam-packed with layers and symbolism that you’ll most likely require a discussion group to fully grasp what Peele was attempting to do. And luckily for us, the director has already given fans a couple jumping off points of discussion, with the deeper meanings of his latest film.
For those that haven’t seen the film (and you probably should just stop reading and go see it right now, anyway…we did warn of spoilers), “Us” follows a family during their vacation in Santa Cruz, California. As coincidences and unexplained events begin to unfold, the mother, played by Lupita Nyong’o, begins to question whether or not the family should just leave and go home. However, before a decision can be made, a group of people begins to terrorize the family, and it’s revealed that the unexpected villains actually are horrific doppelgangers of our happy family.
From there, the horror and action shifts into overdrive and revelations come fast and furious. Honestly, there’s so many hints, Easter eggs, and symbols being thrown at an audience, many will likely be feeling loopy by the time the mind-fuck twist ending is revealed at the very end. Don’t worry, we’ll leave that for a discussion at a later date.
Thankfully, Jordan Peele knows that this film doesn’t have the overtly political themes that “Get Out” proudly wore on its sleeve two years ago. And in a discussion after the film’s world premiere at SXSW (via IndieWire), the director explains the political and social themes he was attempting to cover in “Us.”
“I have a very clear meaning and commentary I’m trying to strike with this film, but I also wanted to design a film that was very personal for every individual,” said Peele. “On the broader stroke of things, this movie is about this country. And when I decided to write this movie, I was stricken by the fact we are in a time where we fear the other.
He continued, “Whether it is the mysterious invader that we think is going to come and kill us, take our jobs, or the faction that we don’t live near that voted a different way than us. We’re all about pointing the finger and I wanted to suggest that maybe the monster we really need to look at has our face. Maybe the evil is us.”
And in slightly less serious news, the filmmaker also spoke to Fandango and revealed his uncredited cameos in both “Get Out” and “Us.” And trust us, no matter how hard you look and freeze-frame the films, there’s no way you would have caught them.
The filmmaker reveals that he provided the “voices” for both the dying deer in “Get Out” and the dying rabbit in “Us.” He even goes so far as to re-enact those roles for the interviewer, which you can watch below.
“Us” is in theaters now.