By Marc Woodfork
The highly anticipated follow up film to 2017’s “Get Out,” “Us” from director Jordan Peele hits theaters this weekend. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke in what’s being called the “greatest horror film of all time” by many critics. Let me start by saying, I don’t believe this film is a horror film. Not in the classic sense. I would categorize it as a suspense film.
Secondly, the cast of actors assembled are fantastic. They all bought into the concept and believed in Jordan Peele’s vision and it pays off on screen. The younger actors involved did their jobs like seasoned veterans. That being said, it is not the perfect film.
The film does drag a bit. There is quite a bit of “wasted time” setting up the plot. I also had some problems with the story. Parts of the story arc get confusing and we as viewers are left with questions at the end of the film. “Us” is very reminiscent of old Hitchcock films; the intensity in which Peele builds suspense is brilliant. Peele makes the correct choice of not using the camera like he’s shooting a music video, but rather lets the actors and scenes build tension without much movement. It’s very refreshing to see filmmaking return to that style.
There is a message in “Us” that speaks to larger social issues which I love about the film. Another reason why audiences should not get caught up with thinking this film is a typical horror movie. It’s not. There are surprise moments in “Us,” but it’s not going to make you scream and dump your popcorn on the floor. The film stands heads above other films that have recently come out in the same genre and I applaud Jordan Peele for another fine achievement. Certainly, a film that people should watch.