The movie stars Lupita Nyong’o (Little Monsters) Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tim Heidecker, Anna Diop, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Madison Curry, Evan Alex, Cali Sheldon and Noelle Sheldon.
With a reported budget of $20 million, Jordan Peele’s sophomore movie Us opened on the top spot at the US box office, taking in a whopping $70.2 million from 3,741 screens. This makes it the biggest opening weekend of all time for an original horror movie with more than double Get Out which took on its opening weekend ($33 million). Internationally, Us took a further $16.7 for a worldwide total of $86.9 million. Us went on to take $255,105,930 worldwide during its theatrical run even before revenue from its release on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K, streaming, etc.
Adelaide and Gabe Wilson (Nyong’o and Duke) take their kids to Adelaide’s old childhood beachside home in Northern California for the summer.
After a day at the beach with the Tyler family (including Moss and Heidecker), Adelaide — who’s haunted by a lingering trauma from her past — becomes increasingly more paranoid that something bad will happen to her family. As night falls, the Wilsons see four figures holding hands and standing silently at the bottom of their driveway…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“For the first two-thirds of the running time, Us is a rock-solid horror-thriller, albeit one that seems deceptively simple and seemed to be wrapping up kind of early all things considered. It’s here that Peele throws a curve-ball at the audience, with a divisive third act that will either have you think you’re watching a stone-cold classic or throw you off with its ambition.” Arrow in the Head
“Us is excellence of execution – or rather, the best version imaginable of a script that feels underdone, and occasionally overwrought. The revelation of what drives the simulacra verges on trite, and depends on (no kidding) a Hands Across America reference, an obscure enough event that it seems like quicksand rather than a firm foundation for a script.” The Austin Chronicle
“Tension’s not the only thing being worked on a gradient in Us. Every twenty minutes or so, Peele’s script drops a new piece of information in our laps and suddenly the narrative kicks up a notch, a clever bit of structuring which creates the effect of a film that is constantly expanding in scale. It’s like clockwork…” Birth. Movies. Death.
“Peele’s screenplay is strong but errs on the side of predictability. There aren’t too many surprises, with most things playing out exactly as you’d expect […] Blending humor and scares with some amazing actors and fantastically tense home invasion set pieces, it comes strongly recommended.” Bloody Disgusting
“There’s no denying the craftsmanship or the singular voice that’s on display in Us. And yet there’s also no denying its messiness, which expands outward as the film moves farther and farther from its claustrophobic locale. Exciting? Sure. Unique? Without a doubt. But it’s hard to not feel frustrated by a script that never seems to figure out what it’s trying to say. Consequence of Sound
“Peele’s story of underground-dwelling doppelgangers keeping up with the Joneses by killing them in a nightmarish nationwide revolt is chock full of ideas. However, some of those ideas are unapologetic about their Saturday matinee silliness. Awarding all of them merit above mere monster movie madness would be misguided at best and foolhardy at worst.” Culture Crypt
” …Us is primed to be one of the most unusual studio horror movies to get released in some time, and I can’t help but applaud Peele for delivering something so uniquely challenging as his follow-up to Get Out. Because of all the different genre elements at play in Us, some folks might find the narrative changes to be a bit dizzying, but for me, everything culminates beautifully in Peele’s jaw-dropping finale.” Daily Dead
” …there are a few stumbles in this fantastic feature. The pacing sometimes drags, although the patience Peele exhibits in building the tension of a scene is masterful. Additionally, the twist can be seen coming a mile away. Still, there is no denying that Peele has avoided the dreaded “sophomore slump” and he has officially cemented himself as one of the most important horror directors of this generation.” Dread Central
“Funny, scary, and brilliantly executed, Us unquestionably solidifies Jordan Peele as one of the preeminent horror filmmakers of our time. Like George A. Romero, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven, Peele deals in big, esoteric concepts that allow for deep introspection without feeling like homework. He isn’t a “spirit double,” however, but entirely his own filmmaker…” First Showing
” …though this doesn’t quite have the same lethal narrative discipline of Peele’s debut masterpiece Get Out, with its drum-tight clarity and control, what it certainly does have is a magnificent lead performance from Lupita Nyong’o, who brings to it a basilisk stare of horror.” The Guardian
“At times, Us almost feels like one of the best zombie movies ever; Our characters are chased by someone who seems to be fearless and relentless. Also, the score and soundtrack are downright brilliant in all the best horror ways. We get the intense and crazy violins that cut through any noise.” Heaven of Horror
” …an often terrifying thriller […] it offers twists and ironies and false endings galore — along with more laughs than the comedian-turned-auteur dared to include in his debut film. Though probably more commercially limited by its genre than its hard-to-pigeonhole predecessor, it packs a punch.” The Hollywood Reporter
“Anyone who loved Jordan Peele’s directorial debut will no doubt be hoping to get a social message out of follow-up Us. While there is definitely an underlying theme about our actions having consequences and the idea of “other”-ing marginalised communities, there is a little bit more digging before this comes across, unlike Get Out, which was a lot less ambiguous with its social commentary.” HuffPost
” …a brilliant home-invasion thriller laced with cultural reference points stretching back to the late ’80s, and a smorgasbord of first-rate visceral cinematic scares. Think Funny Games collided with Cronenbergian body horror and Hitchcockian suspense, and you’re maybe halfway there.” IndieWire
“Peele has made himself an unmistakable and undeniable horror film, though that’s not to say that there’s not some level of social commentary in the film (it wouldn’t be horror if there wasn’t, after all). There will be plenty to say in the coming weeks when we don’t have to talk around the film’s twists and turns…” Vanyaland
“Within the realm of scary movies, doppelganger stories occupy an entire subgenre to themselves — and they nearly all end with the same “twist,” which won’t surprise many here — though Peele is a clever enough social commentator to orchestrate an entire horror movie around that old adage, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Variety
Us was released theatrically by Universal Pictures on March 15th, 2019.
Us was released by Universal Pictures digitally on June 4th and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on June 18th.
- The Duality of Us – Jordan Peele goes in-depth on some of the key themes and imagery in Us
- The Monsters Within Us – Examine how the great cast was able to find their characters.
- Tethered Together: Making Us Twice – Cast and crew discuss some of the technical challenges to making the film, as well as some of the design choices for the characters.
- Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror – Cast and filmmakers highlight what makes Jordan Peele so unique, as well as Peele’s own thoughts on his inspirations and the relationship between horror and comedy.
- Becoming Red – Using behind-the-scenes footage from between takes, we take a closer look at Lupita Nyong’o’s intense and mesmerizing performance as Red.
- Deleted scenes:
- I Am Not Even Near You
- Rabbit Season
- That’s Badass
- The P is Silent
- I Wanna Go Home
- We’re All Dying – Outtakes from the conversation between Winston Duke and Tim Heidecker
- As Above, So Below: Grand Pas de Deux – Extended version of the film’s dance sequence.
- Scene Explorations – The making of three iconic scenes:
- Seven Second Massacre
- It’s a Trap
- I Just Want My Little Girl Back
The success of Jordan Peele’s second horror movie Us was phenomenal has spawned a following for the Tethered. There is a maze at the 2019 Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios created in their honour. However, Peele is not uncomfortable about the craze for the Tethered and apparently doesn’t appreciate fans dressing up in the costumes. He had this to say recently:
“I’ve started receiving a lot of pictures of people in tethered costumes, which doesn’t make me comfortable. I like the fact that the movie is happening, it’s a phenomenon, it’s resonating, it’s iconic. But, I don’t know, there’s something about … They’re impersonating the stalkers and sending me stuff. I just feel like… just don’t go into that mindset. She (Lupita Nyong’o) was in character, or at the very least, in mood on set at all times as Red which was already pretty terrifying for me.”
All we can say is, what did he expect? If you create iconic new creepy horror characters people are bound to have fun dressing up that way. Especially at Halloween!
Image credits: All images are copyright ©Universal Pictures and are used here only in the spirit of public promotion, information and education regarding the feature film Us.