Us (2019) – My Own Worst Enemy

After frightened us with an ambiguous situation and its messages, Jordan Peele directs another terrifying reflection about social life. In a unique way, we explore clearly if racists are born not from the point of view we always limit. But, it’s about us. It’s us, a major enemy in each of us. In so many ways, you can interpret this movie; at least watch it, in the eyes of a horror film in general. But, “Us” is a political comment on the United States, just like the title. The picture of terror of identity as a real American; or an indigenous person is a topic it will never stop.

“Us” explores how a race of either white or black is able to create a frame of their respective races. Majority or minority, there is no answer or view of who was right or wrong. This also applies not only to race but also to religion, gender, ideology, and belief. Every culture supports “violence”, supporting what we always call hatred. Whether from the media or views, it doesn’t change the fact. The innermost side of humans only wants a proud of each of their races or religions.

Amazingly, Jordan Peele, as a comedian, honed the sharpness of an individual in throwing subtle criticism. By capturing and amplifying a genre, he wrapped it with comedy and satire. In “Get Out“, the main protagonist faces a strong fear of a race whether from the white or from himself. On the other hand, “Us” is a horror movie, a fun movie in general.

It’s about one family, going on vacation, but their vacation turns into a disaster when their house is terrorized by “themselves”. These themselves call themselves Americans, dressed in red and carrying a scissor. It’s not the design, the creature, or anything but it’s us. They have similar faces and also recognize them with each other. The movie has a lot of gore, the comical music, and in the form of a thriller movie instead of horror in some part.

“Therefore this is what the Lord says: I will bring them on disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.” – Jeremiah 11:11. Glass isn’t glass, matches aren’t matches, and us isn’t us. Suspense and fear are side effects of weir along with anxiety, as do the characters in this film, Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson. After the trauma of meeting a mirror girl while lost in an amusement park, she now comes across her real terror.

Lupita Nyong’o broke a curse as Oscar was often cynical about the horror genre. For Nyong’o, playing two similar but not the same people wasn’t difficult. There’s Adelaide and there’s Red. One glared anxiously and frightened, one glared terrifying like a psycho. There is a duality between the two roles as well as other actors: Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Evan Alex. Each actor plays two different characters but still from the same character. Their roles all demand a lot of scenes, lots of gestures, tones, as well as comical.

An interesting point from “Us” is that in addition to an actor with two personalities, this film emerges from a horror film to a comedy as well. There is no separation nor is there an element of coercion neither. In this film, everything goes natural. This is like the times when critics always say M. Night Shyamalan as the next Steven Spielberg after “The Sixth Sense”. So, does Jordan Peele still have its own essence in his next movie? Because this movie leaves an ambiguous question about who is the real one; and of course who is the real Americans.

“Us” is a pure horror movie in terms of thematic than “Get Out” but both movies come with its theme, message, and comedy satire. Jordan Peele is not necessarily a pretentious director, we can enjoy it, but we also still discuss it if you watch it with friends. The meaning of the rabbit, the meaning of the scissor, the meaning of the “I got five on it”, and so many things to talk about. This film encourages us to seek and question an answer, not only to watch it once but to watch it more than once and from all kinds of perspectives. This is a dope movie!

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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