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& # 39; Us & # 39; is scary fun for the whole (Doppel) Gang: NPR



Target twice …: Lupita Nyong & # 39; s stars in Us, the latest horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele.

Claudette Barius / Universal Pictures


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Claudette Barius / Universal Pictures

Measure Twice …: Lupita Nyong's stars in Us, the latest horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele.

Claudette Barius / Universal Pictures

There is so much to admire about Us Jordan Peel's muscular follow-up on Get Out that it is worth appreciating what Peele does when the ebb and flow of horror tension reaches low tide. Many of the most famous horror maestro's are hailed for their great, atmospheric set pieces, but coming to these moments can often feel like a raw story pack, the listless verses within a murder scene. Peele excels in these mandatory sections, where his skills as a sketch comedy writer and pop culture savant can experience conversations that we have been constrained to expect as yadda-yadda bridges to nightfall when a movie can finally throw some excitement and chaos.

There is chaos aplenty to be uncorked in Us which is so conceptually cluttered as Get Out was reckless self-employed, but Peel's rapid development in a full service entertainer dispels any fear of a sophomore decline. He can gently mix and combine ideas cherry pick from earlier classics – the echo childhood trauma Do not look now the strangers doppelgängers of Invasion of the Body Snatchers the masked home invasion of The Strangers – but he can also handle the banalities of a family car's beach trip or emphasize a cruel sequence of theremin flute of Beach Boys' good vibration. He is actively engaged at any time, which is especially useful when the movie's bold abstractions begin to twist away from it a little. “/>

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Get Out turned a Stepford Wives premises into a bitter satirical allegory of how it is to be black in America, Us opens up a wider, vaguer, more suggestive diagnosis of social ailments, packed as a metaphysical shocker, where the signs are attacked by versions of themselves. Beginning with a flashback in 1986, the film with young Adelaide Wilson, who walks from a Santa Cruz boardwalk opens a stormy summer night and enters a mirror hall where she meets a child who is her exact reflection – but not. (Think of the famous mirror sequence with Groucho and Harpo Marx in Duck Soup only complete bone cooling.)

Now an adult with a man (Winston Duke) and two children (Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph) of Its own, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong & oh; o) vacations to a secluded home near Santa Cruz and immediately catches up with panic, reminiscent of this former trauma blew frighteningly into the present. Apparently innocent visual signals land with such a devastating effect, as Adelaide calls on her husband to divide the city, even before a more tangible threat comes. But as they prepare to go, another family of four arrives on their driveway, dressed in matching red jumpsuits. They also look exactly as they do, making them literally their own worst enemy.

There is an explanation for this curious phenomenon – a great one that is actually linked to a network of tunnels cited in the opening titles – but Peele asks America itself (the title Us or US of the title) to see themselves in the mirror and consider the invisible millions who share our country, but not always our happiness. The deeper the film expects what really happens, the less it goes under control, both in the logistics of the doppelgänger's existence and in the abstract themes that Peele seems to be exploring. It is not as harmful to the movie as it sounds, but Us plays better as an intuitive experience than a puzzle where each question has an answer. Peele would rather justify the imagination than clearing things up.

In this regard, Us is a step forward for Peele as director, because so much of what he is trying to express does not make sense on the page as Get Out Get Out ] did. In an astonishing dual performance like Adelaide and her gravel-stamped second, Lupita Nyong carries the psychological complexities of a woman whose identity was destroyed by an incident over 30 years of age and still being cut by shards. What happens to her is fundamentally inexplicable and insoluble, so Peele allows it to open and swallow the rest of the film as a crack in the ground that forms the apocalypse.

It is also possible to receive Us simply as an exciting home invasion thriller, where Adelaide and her family squat against these eerie, relentless attackers whose origins and motives are a mystery. Although Peele has made it clear that Us is a horror movie, not a comedy – the film itself makes the case perfectly fine in itself, honestly – he seizes the opportunity to light up the tone, either through a fun gesture amidst a skirmish or by casting Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss as a bourgeois couple who seem to be running their own version of Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? . Us is a serious movie about the American subclass, those who are out of sight and out of mind. Us is also very fun.


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