Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Thursday, April 04, 2019


I’m not a fan of contemporary horror films, life being scary enough as it is. I recently caught up with Jordan Peele’s much-acclaimed “Get Out”, however, and was duly impressed with its clever use of genre clichés to tell a profound story about race in America. Thus I took the opportunity to see his new film, “Us” in the cinema, where it belongs.

This is the story of an ordinary family (who happen to be African-American), taking a beach-side vacation, only to be assailed by their apparent doppelgangers. This is put into context by a framing narrative featuring a traumatic event which marked the childhood of the mother of the family, Lupita Nyong’o’s Adelaide; its relevance only gradually becomes apparent.

As with Peele’s previous film, “Us” falls into a number of horror categories – in this case, zombies, home invasion, spooky children, pandemics etc. Thus, there are plenty of the jump scares, gory moments and incongruous wisecracks which followers of the genre will appreciate, alongside excellent performances, particularly from Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss as a holiday neighbour.

Peele’s script is clever, and his direction very slick, but inevitably “Us” has less of an impact than “Get Out” because it falls more squarely into the “horror” category, and its message re the consequences of social exclusion is slightly less pointed. Still, it’s an impressive piece of work.

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