Lupita Nyong’o in horror film, Us (2019)
Universal Pictures
Us is the second film by acclaimed “horror mastermind” Jordan Peele. We all remember being stunned by Get Out back in 2017. Since then Peele has gone on record declaring he has a whole lineup of films in this unique genre of Peele-Thrillers. Us is our look into how Peele plans to solidify his own tropes in filmmaking. This time starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (Wakanda forever!), our characters face a creepy and evil force masked as their own twins! Murderous and resentful creatures terrorize a family during summer vacation but what does Peele add to this story to make it memorable?

Balanced: Us is not a perfect film in many ways. However, it has a very close to perfect pace and balance in the narrative considering this can be a bit wonky at times in storytelling. We know that Peele produces a great script but without the talents of Mike Gioulakis (cinematography for It FollowsGlass, and Split) and Nicholas Monsour (editor, lots of TV credits) the delivery could have easily fallen off. Considering Monsour’s filmography has very little “wow” work it is highly impressive what he was able to accomplish in editing this storyline.

2019 Best Score: Time and time again I go on and on about how a music score in a film can act as the glue for a scene and transcend into its presence. There are too many people in the Music Department of this film to shout out to so great job to them as a group. And now we turn to Michael Abels who is the composer for Us and Get Out. So if anything can be taken from this film it is that Peele and Abels will become a great power duo for future films.

Resume Building: Us continues the Peele hype. Peele is making quality films and this shows that fact. Although the film is not particularly scary it does keep the audience very interested in what is next. Of course, in the end, there are plenty of unanswered questions which is always a good thing within the correct context. Us will be one of the better thrillers of the year due to the interweaving plot.

But…. Just like in Get Out, Peele makes the active decision to condense his target audience so much that the attempted message is lost entirely. Hollywood and audiences may want Peele to be the first him but as long as he attempts these convoluted plots and subliminal messages he will forever be a new age Kubrick or Shyamalan, but nowhere near as impactful long term.

Us has a great score combined with a clever script and surprising editing. However, if Peele does not find his own unique style soon he will be lost among all the other “risk takers” in filmmaking history.

Watch Us now