Has Jordan Peele's new horror 'Us' been horrifically overhyped?
The 'Get Out' director explores the dark fears of the psyche in this story of creepy doppelgangers starring Lupita N'yongo
After the success of his 2017 horror debut Get Out, there was significant pressure on director Jordan Peele. In the two years since then he's produced Spike Lee's BlackKklansman, signed on to create a reboot of 1950s sci-fi classic The Twilight Zone and has returned to direct his second film, Us.
Amid much hype, critics have acclaimed the film and it enjoyed one of the biggest box-office weekend openings in US history last week. Peele seems to have cemented his place as one of the smartest, most innovative new directors of the horror genre.
However, if you remove the film from its clouds of ecstatic appreciation and breathless commentary, the truth is that Us is a very well-executed and aesthetically pleasing piece of horror that isn't really about all that much, leading to its over-appreciation as being about everything. There's nothing easier to project on than a pretty-looking blank slate.
Get Out aimed its barbs at the easily identifiable horrors of race relations. Us aims its arrows at a far more nebulous target - the dark secrets and fears of the psyche.
The film begins in the '80s, when a young girl named Adelaide has a dark encounter with a doppelganger in a hall of mirrors at a seaside funfair. It's not clear what happens but it's obvious that the incident has a deep effect on the girl - and has her parents worried about her.
Cut to several years later and Adelaide is grown up, married and the mother of two children, on her way with her family back to the seaside town of her childhood trauma, where she and her husband have bought a holiday home. Why she would want to return to the scene of the crime is unclear.
WATCH | The trailer for Us..