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Random Thoughts: Us, or Shut Up Mr. Peele and Take My Money

The only thing creepier than a boy in a mask is two boys in masks.

•This is a great sophomore project by Jordan Peele. His directorial debut, Get Out, was a wonderful work of storytelling, and he flexes his cinematic muscles once again with this vaguely similar yet totally different film.

•The subject of doppelgangers has always fascinated me. It's like something that's not too scary to be frightening, but not too normal that can be dismissed. My brother has had more than one experience with doppelgangers, particularly his own. Although this isn't the first movie about doppelgangers, I think this is the first one about an entire doppelganger family.

•As a horror movie, where the intention is to scare the living hell out of the movie audience, this film worked. However, it didn't concern itself with world-building; it just gave a simple explanation of where the doppelgangers came from, but it didn't tell us why they were created in the first place.

•As a suspense movie, where the intention is to put viewers on the edge of their seats, this film works exceptionally well. The scary thing about doppelgangers is that they behave like real people, and they don't appear and disappear like ghosts. They're as dangerous on land as they are on boats.

•Unlike Get Out, which was clearly a statement on the racial issues of the United States, this film is not really about the race problem. Yes, it's about an African-American suburban family, but Peele doesn't play the race card in this movie. The leads just happen to be black. They conflict in this movie doesn't happen because of their skin colour.

•At first you'd think this film has a supernatural element to it, but it doesn't. The doppelgangers are some kind of clones from an underground experiment, not some dark version of themselves from an alternate universe.

•Lupita Nyong'o is such a talented actress, and her voice acting skills are truly remarkable. In the Disney Star Wars trilogy, she plays Maz Kanata, and her voice is totally unrecognisable. Here, she does a different voice for her doppelganger, a hoarse, creepy voice capable of giving children nightmares.

•I'm glad Elisabeth Moss is getting more acting gigs. She's great in The Handmaid's Tale, but I liked her way back in Mad Men.

•This film gives us great throwbacks. The flashback part of the film takes place in 1986, as shown by the Hands Across America commercial in the beginning and the Michael Jackson shirt in the amusement park. In fact, the Hands Across America reference is used again near the end, which I think would have been really beautiful if people outside the United States understood its significance.

•And speaking of throwbacks, the use of the song "I've Got 5 On It" was refreshing. If it wasn't for this movie, I might've forgotten about this song already. There's a theory I read, about how this song is about two guys splitting a dimebag of weed by paying five dollars each. So there's two guys forming a whole, which is very much like a doppelganger being two parts of a whole.

"Can you make your eyes big like this?"

Us. USA/Japan/China. 2019.

Original rating: 8/10
Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o Black Panther reunion: + 0.1
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Elisabeth Moss The Handmaid's Tale reunion: +0.1
Final rating: 8.2/10


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