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REVIEW: Jordan Peele proves ‘Get Out’ was not a fluke with the equally intelligent & horrifying ‘Us’

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Us

The Final Word:
  • Jordan Peele has this great ability to throw in some immensely effective comedy amid chaos and horror.

    Latin Horror’s Jennifer E. Ortega attended an advance screening for Academy Award-winning  Jordan Peele‘s ‘US‘ in Los Angeles and provides her take on the second horror film by an emerging and dominating force in the genre, who is being hailed as an instant auteur and genius. And Latin Horror agrees completely with that premise and cannot wait to see more of his forthcoming work, which also includes the new Twilight Zone TV series coming April 1st on the CBS All Access streaming service.

    My favorite way to see a film is with as little info about it going in as possible. I’ll watch trailers, read reviews, reactions, all after, but I like knowing nothing before seeing the film. I fully understand that a lot of people enjoy knowing much more before seeing a movie and I get it. Is it a story that intrigues or bores you, is there too much or too little violence for you. Still, certain films are so much more enjoyable the less you know about them. Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ is one of those films. So I will be delighted to give you my opinion on ‘Us’ while trying my very best to reveal very little.

    The Plot & A Few Words about C.H.U.D.

    The film opens in 1986 to a television playing a Hands Across America ad. The television set is surrounded by VHS tapes, including a VHS of ‘C.H.U.D.’ Thank you for including ‘C.H.U.D.’ (Side note straight from my alma mater— NYU grad film chair, David Irving directed ‘C.H.U.D. II’ and was always happy to talk to students about it.) A little girl, Adelaide is watching the tv. It’s her birthday, and something very traumatizing to her happens at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

    Oh, Glorious 'C.H.U.D'

    Oh, Glorious ‘C.H.U.D’

    Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ opens nationwide 3/22/19

    The film cuts to the present day. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) is now an adult with her own family. She is married to Gabe (Winston Duke  who has excellent comedic timing despite being in a horror movie) and two children. An older daughter, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) that like any teenage girl is more interested in her iPhone than her family and a younger son, Jason (Evan Alex) who is fond of magic tricks & illusions. It is their first time as a family back at the beach house since Adelaide’s mother died. Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker play their friends Kitty & Josh that have a home in Santa Cruz. They are “the friends” with a bigger house, a nicer car, and brattier kids. Adelaide is not keen on going to the beach since she is still traumatized from childhood.

    And yes…there’s doppelgangers. That’s all you really should know going into ‘Us.’ The thought of a doppelganger is horribly frightening in itself and have you ever seen a doppelganger with good intentions in a film? So really that is all you need to know plot-wise.

    Members of the Wilson clan brace for their doppelgangers next horrific moves.

    Shock & Awe: Members of the Wilson clan brace for their doppelganger’s next horrific moves.

    Double Vision: Hey, it's Jason...with Jason?

    Double Vision: Hey, it’s Jason…with Jason?

    Commentary & How I Will Never go to Santa Cruz Again 

    The film is terrifying and definitely has roots in some great horror concepts. Like ‘Get Out,’ I love that Jordan Peele has this great ability to throw in some immensely effective comedy amid chaos and horror. The comedy is natural. It never seems forced. That’s a skill very few filmmakers possess at least effectively possess. The acting is superb across the board. Lupita Nyong’o is beyond great. Honestly, not a weak performance in the bunch.  Shahadi Wright Joseph blew me away. There are so many great little moments in the film, including one with Elizabeth Moss applying lip gloss that to me, is one of her strongest moments as an actor.

    Jordan Peele on set during the filming of 'Us.' Peele is being hailed as an 'auteur' and 'genius.'

    Jordan Peele on set during the filming of ‘Us.’ Peele is being hailed as an ‘auteur’ and ‘genius.’

    Again Jordan Peele elevates the medium of film to give great and much-needed commentary. To me, the analysis would be that we are our own worst enemies. We are a country that can self destruct because of us. In this amazing country we live in, it is so disheartening to see so many Americans demonize “the other,” anyone not deemed one of them. “The other” is habitually portrayed as the ultimate “enemy” of America whether “the other” is an illegal immigrant, a non-Chrisitan, someone who is not heterosexual or just the wrong color. These are the “enemies”. Anyone with half a heart and half a brain knows what a fallacy this is, yet it is a fallacy that is repeatedly regurgitated. “Us” reminds America that our biggest enemy is ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. Also, I am in no rush to go to Santa Cruz maybe ever again after watching ‘Us’.

    I never thought I’d be terrified of Santa Cruz!

    Official Trailer:

    About ‘Us’:
    A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.

    Directed by: Jordan Peele
    Produced by:  Jason Blum, Ian Cooper, Sean McKittrick & Jordan Peele
    Written by: Jordan Peele
    Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker
    Music by: Michael Abels
    Cinematography: Mike Gioulakis
    Edited by: Nicholas Monsour
    Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment, Monkeypaw Productions
    Distributed by: Universal Pictures
    Release date: March 22, 2019 (United States)
    Running time: 116 minutes
    Rated: R for violence & terror

    Connect with ‘Us’
    Official Site: usmovie.com
    Instagram: @usmovie
    Twitter: @usmovie
    Facebook: @usmovie

     

     

    Jennifer E. Ortega
    Jennifer is a host, producer, screenwriter and journalist based in Los Angeles. She is known for her humor, pop culture knowledge, candor and authenticity that make her on-camera interviews stand out. As an entertainment journalist, Jennifer has published film & television reviews, exclusive interviews and event coverage for various online publications. As a screenwriter, Jennifer has written pilots, screenplays and has acted as a story consultant. She originally got her start working for an esteemed producer in New York and went on to work in television production for various reality shows. Jennifer is a true Valley Girl, born and raised in Encino and will be happy to talk about the wonders of the Valley for hours on end. She also really loves Twin Peaks & Matzah Ball soup.

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