What once scared us was home invasion, aliens and hitchhikers. This hasn’t changed but what scares us more is our own hierarchal society, something that Peele manages to capture in a menacingly elegant manner during Us.
Us’ predecessor, Get Out, was no less than amazing but it goes without saying that Jordan Peele truly went bigger and better with his new creation in comparison to that of his prior horror film. With box office records broken on its opening weekend, many have been left arguing that Jordan Peele’s filmmaking is now so strong that he’s even created a franchise for himself, it’s likely that this man is capable of being a new founding-father of contemporary horror than many genre fanatics have been waiting for.
With the industry being swarmed with sequel after sequel and reboot after reboot, it’s refreshing that Peele is back on the scene (and promising us at least three more films). Us isn’t an ordinary horror either – packed with elements of comedy and warmth, Peele has created a film which leaves the audiences emotions rather up in the air as they leave the theatre. Us is not a film about race, but a satirical perspective of the American Dream and a focus on classism – a subject portrayed in the films of both George A. Romero and Tobe Hooper amongst many others, it’s recognisable the amount of valuable directors and screenwriters that have gone before him that Peele has chosen to take inspiration from. Even his techniques for maximising suspense seem to have come straight out of a Hitchcock textbook. This isn’t saying that Jordan Peele has created a facsimile of previous horror films in Us but far from it, Us is new to even the most horror-familiar of audiences, with an endless amount of both explicit and obscure odes to 80s pop culture and classic horror.
I might’ve just had such high hopes for the film that I am now refusing to allow myself to be let down, but Peele (alongside the magnificently ferocious performance from Lupita Nyong’o and jarring score from Michael Abels) really left little room for disappointment. The question currently wavering around everyone’s minds now however – critic and film-fans alike – is will Monkeypaw Productions next venture live up to the legacy that Get Out and Us have now paved?