Now on Blu-ray: Jordan Peele’s Terrifying Sophomore Flick ‘Us’

GameStop, Inc.

Us Review

There are fewer debuts as successful as writer-director Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which earned four Oscar nominations including one win for Best Original Screenplay. It’s amazing to think a horror film would be nominated for Best Picture, let alone one that was so charged with social and racial commentary. The success of Get Out might’ve taken some by surprise, but nobody could be surprised that Peele’s second film, Us, would be among the most highly anticipated of the year. Us was another critically acclaimed smash hit for Peele, though I doubt it’ll have the same Oscar chances as his previous film. Regardless, Peele’s latest hit arrives on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with an edition teeming with special features that explores the Peele’s latest cinematic nightmare.

Us is about the Wilson Family and their horrific attempt at a vacation in Santa Cruz, California. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe (Wilson Duke) take their children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) to the coastal town where they’re attacked in the middle of the night by murderous doppelgangers. However, the horrors unleashed aren’t limited to just the Wilson Family as an underground society of “tethered” people rise from the system of underground tunnels that cover the United States.

As a sophomore feature, Us sees Jordan Peele growing as a visual storyteller. Peele crafts haunting, memorable visuals. Scene after scene features some incredible shots, and Peele’s visual style makes the film’s violence all the more effective. However, as Us sees Peele grow as a visual stylist the film is also somewhat a step backwards for him as a writer. The first half of the film plays perfectly as Peele leans in on the mystery of his scenario. It’s in the second half when Peele begins to peel back the layers of mystery and explain the unusual happenings of his film that the story begins to sputter.

Part of the problem is that it seems that Peele has written himself into a corner, crafting a story of visceral terror that makes it almost impossible to provide a satisfactory explanation – something, however, I don’t feel that the film needs to do as ambiguity can be so much terrifying that understanding. It results in Us being less thematically coherent as Get Out. Whereas Get Out was about well-intentioned liberals and the commodification of black bodies, Us is about the duality of man, how we can be our own worst enemies, and the segments of society that have been overlooked and forgotten – it’s ambitious, perhaps too ambitious for a single film.

For those who finish Us with an array of questions, the Blu-ray for the film may not provide a concrete explanation for everything that occurs. However, it does dive deep into the intent of its filmmaker through a number of fascinating behind the scenes featurettes. Peele in a series of interviews as well as behind the scenes footage explains all sorts of aspects to Us, and it really gives you a sense of just how ambitious Peele went with his second film. The behind the scenes glimpses don’t end with Peele. The cast and crew are also interviewed, but it’s the behind the scenes glimpses of a Lupita Nyong’o and her incredible dedication to her craft that really comes through. Between takes she maintains the creepy voice of Adelaide’s counterpart Red. Rounding out the bonus features are a number of deleted scenes. The only thing missing on the Blu-ray of Us is an audio commentary track with Peele, but the amount of featurettes that give us insight into his thought process more than makes up for the lack of commentary.

Just the other day I was watching some old episodes of Key & Peele, the sketch comedy show on Comedy Central starring Keegan-Michael Key alongside Jordan Peele. One thing stood out to me about the sketch comedy show where Peele made his name: It’s use of horror tropes in a number of sketches. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it would seem that Peele’s comedy with its blend of social commentary and horror was a tease of what was to come. And yet, as we’ve seen over and over again, the ability to write hilarious 5-minute sketches doesn’t always translate into cinematic success. Jordan Peele has been able to find cinematic success because he’s attempting more than just scares; he’s trying to say something and consistently utilizes humor to cut the tension. Us may not live up to the incredible highs of Get Out, but it’s still an ambitious, terrifying work of horror filmmaking and further cements Jordan Peele as the most exciting voice in genre cinema.

Us
  • Overall Score
4.5

Summary

While not as thematically strong as Get Out, Jordan Peele’s sophomore feature Us is still an ambitious work of horror filmmaking, a terrifying and entertaining film that further cements Peele as the most exciting writer-director working in genre.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Project Power Review
Project Power Review – Netflix Brings Super Powers to the Streets

Project Power Review -Netflix brings superpowers to the streets of New...

Rise of the TMNT Season 2 Review
Rise of the TMNT Season 2 Review

Rise of the TMNT Season 2 Review – The Teenage Mutant...

Pretending I'm A Superman
Pretending I’m A Superman Arrives August 18th

Pretending I’m A Superman the story of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater...

Event News Event Reviews
Masters of the Universe Power-Con
Mattel Drops Masters of the Universe Power-Con Motherload

Masters of the Universe Power-Con reveals from Mattel   He-Man and...

Greg Ellis and the Animation Voices in My Head Takes Places on Saturday, August 8

Greg Ellis is an actor of film, stage and voice over....

SA Film Goes Virtual for 2020

From SA Film – SAN ANTONIO, TX (July 29, 2020) SAFILM...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Second Extinction
Second Extinction Coming to Steam Early Access

Second Extinction, Systemic Reaction’s co-op dino shooter, is coming to Steam...

Gunfire Reborn
Gunfire Reborn Launches New Content

Gunfire Reborn launches new weapons, enemies, occult scrolls, and level changes...

Goner Kickstarter
Goner Kickstarter at 60% in First Week

The Goner Kickstarter is at 60% funding in its first week Have...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Kodansha USA Publishing Announces Shaman King Delay Including Spinoffs

Kodansha USA Publishing announces a Shaman King Spinoff delay including the...

TMNT 107 Review
TMNT 107 Review – The Turtles Go from Hope to Horror

TMNT 107 Review – The Turtles hit some expected hiccups as...

TMNT Annual 2020 Review
TMNT Annual 2020 Review – City at War was Just the Beginning

TMNT Annual 2020 Review – My personal favorite ongoing series shows...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Legends Ultimate Arcade
Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is Back!

The Legends Ultimate Arcade Machine is back with wider availability and...

Re:cycled Collection
Solo New York Expands Its Re:cycled Collection

Solo New York expands its Re:cycled Collection with seven new items Solo...

Mobile Edge Expands
Mobile Edge Expands Lineup

Mobile Edge Expands Lineup with new personal productivity products Mobile Edge...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Ric Flair Talks Some Career Highlights, Charlotte’s Recovery and Celebrity Slots

Wooo, you have no idea how eager I was to conduct...

Cynthia Cooper Coaches The Lady Hoopers in the Battle of the Sexes Game at The 5 Tournament Pro B-Ball Invitational

If you decided to do an internet search for Cynthia Cooper,...

Bellator 242 Full Results

Bellator 242: Bandejas vs. Pettis took place from the Mohegan Sun...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics 2nd Birthday Super Spectacular Celebration Event! Day 7 – Rejected Ideas!

Day 7! The final day of the Fantoy Comics Birthday Spectacular!...

Fantoy Comics 2nd Birthday Celebration Week Spectacular! Thingy! Day 6

The second to last day of the Fantoy Comics 2nd Birthday...

Fantoy Comics Presents: 2nd Birthday Spectacular Celebration Thang! – Day 6 Supporting cast

Day 6 of the Birthday Spectacular!

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Persian Singer and International Sensation Shab is ready to take on the American Music Scene

This interview was very personal to me as Shab has a...

New Single ‘Aqua’ from ‘The SpongeBob Move: Sponge On the Run Debuts Today!

From Paramount Animation – LOS ANGELES, CA (July 9th, 2020) –...

Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...