After turning the horror world on its head with 2017's Get Out, and winning an Oscar for his trouble, writer/director Jordan Peele returns with this eagerly anticipated follow-up.
The superlative entertainment value proves that his first film wasn't a fluke, but Us is definitely much more of a head-scratcher that Get Out.
Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke, both of whom appeared in Black Panther, star as Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, who, along with their kids, teenage Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and pre-teen Jason (Evan Alex) are vacationing in the California seaside town of Santa Cruz, a place where Adelaide suffered a childhood trauma in the mid '80s.
After a day at the beach, they are violently confronted in their holiday home by four intruders dressed in crimson jumpsuits – intruders who turn out to look exactly like them.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The tension throughout the film's home invasion thriller first half is unrelenting, and Peele holds off on laying out exactly what is happening for an admirable length of time. This builds an expectation that isn't quite met by the eventual reveals. Thematically, tonally and visually, the film maintains its power throughout, but the "explanation" throws up more questions than answers.
Ambiguity is admirable in a mainstream genre film, and there's no denying the film's pure cinematic power, but Us left me coveting a little bit more information about the hows and whys of what was happening.
Although all four lead actors deliver startling performances deserving of praise, Nyong'o must be singled out – she is simply stunning here, and worth seeing the film for alone.
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker,
Director: Jordan Peele
Running time: 116 mins
Censor: R16 (Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb)
Verdict: Artfully creepy and admirably tense, if somewhat undernourished when it comes to clarity and resolution.