Movie Review: Us (2019)

Film Title: Us

Summary: A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgangers appear and begin to terrorize them.
There will be spoilers at the very end of this review. The initial review is spoiler free. Also, I don’t like horror films and while this one will probably be classified as “horror”, I did not find it scary.
I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED THIS REVIEW!! I’ve been trying to finish this thing forever!
Pros:
Cast and Characters. We pretty much stick with the family in this one. As they play two characters I’m going to try not to go overboard with talking about each character.
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson/Red. So, Adelaide is a quiet woman, she says she has a hard time talking and that’s evident a little early in the film. She had a traumatic experience as a child and returning to her childhood home has her on edge as she sees coincidences that remind her of what happened before. When the day ends she tells her husband that she’s just worried that something will happen, and she finally tells him what happened when she was a little girl. Then of course, things happen. So, she goes on the journey in this movie trying to run from the horrors of her past while also trying to protect her family. She doesn’t particularly care about the world because it’s not her problem but she’s hellbent on protecting her family. Now, Red is Adelaide’s “shadow” and she has returned with her shadow family for her reasons I won’t spoil here. She’s terrifying in how she moves, her expressions, how she talks, and you can’t help but be transfixed by her. Lupita is amazing in this movie. Even if this movie wasn’t good in my eyes, I would still think Lupita is amazing in it. She’s so good. I think as Adelaide she plays the strength she needs, the fear, the anger, all of it so well. For Red, it’s such a different performance and it’s so haunting. It’s so good.
    • Madison Curry as Young Adelaide/Young Red. We see this young actress in the flashback portions of the movie and we spend enough time with her to see how she differentiates between the two characters as well. I thought she did very well, especially since most of her acting is physical and, in her face, as she doesn’t say much.
  • Winston Duke as Gabe Wilson/Abraham. It’s M’BAKU! lol But Gabe is that type to want to keep up with the Joneses because he does things in this movie, at the beginning to try and match up with their friends who seem to be rich. He buys a boat, he wants to go to the beach and talk about the things they have and are getting. He also doesn’t seem to take a lot of things as serious as he should. When Adelaide tells him of her fears, he’s joking about it and almost dismissive of her worry and fear. When the Shadow family first appears, he’s like “Um okay, y’all need to leave” but it doesn’t get serious for him in terms of the stakes until Abraham snatches his glasses from him lol. Even when they’re talking in the living room, he keeps talking and it’s like, bruh shut up lol. Now as Abraham, he’s big and imposing and he doesn’t talk so you’re not sure what he’s going to do at all. Winston Duke plays the two characters who are also so different and it’s like night and day. I thought he did a great job at being kind of goofy as Gabe and then imposing as Abraham.
  • Shahadi Wright Joseph as Zora Wilson/Umbrae. Zora is their teenage daughter, she ran track prior to their summer and has decides she doesn’t want to run anymore. She’s always on her phone and she does get into it with Jason but it’s not like how they usually show brother/sister relationships where it’s antagonistic. Zora seems to think quickly on her toes as the film gets going, and she’s probably like 13 so she wants to drive but her parents are like “nah”. But she manages to handle the situation like a pro. Now Umbrae doesn’t talk either, but she just smirks and giggles the entire time. It’s great and I found her the most unsettling. Being that she’s Zora’s shadow, she’s a runner and she also seems to be the most brutal as well. Shahadi did such a great job as both characters. For her to just keep that smirk on her face and giggle and be so unsettling is a win.
  • Evan Alex as Jason Wilson/Pluto. He is the youngest child and he’s a little strange. He seems to keep to himself and loves magic tricks. Jason seems to know different hiding spots in the house and he utilizes them when he needs to. He’s very observant and a lot of times it’s worth watching his expression for clues and realizations because he’s clearly figured it out before you. He’s a sweet boy though and I like his and Zora’s relationship gets stronger as the movie goes on and that he’s also willing to do what he needs to. As Pluto, he’s little monster who wears a skin-tight mask over his face and who likes fire. He’s a scary little monster lol. Evan Alex does a good job as both characters. He of course cannot talk as Pluto, but he makes little grunting noise and sounds like an animal. I think that was in line with what he was in Red’s eyes lol.
The Story. The story is interesting and fully in spoiler territory, so I’ll be brief about this. So, basically Adelaide experienced something traumatic as a child and she has now returned to her childhood home where she begins to see all kinds of coincidences that make her think of what happened before. Just as she finally expresses what happened to her husband, a family shows up and begins to terrorize them. We learn this family is a shadow of our current family and the ride never stops from there. I think this story is a dig at a lot of things. What you take from it I think will be different from person to person. It’s a commentary on identity in ways but also on the government. Not to mention, on how people deal with their choices and the implications of that. That is all I will say here.
The Horror/Thriller Aspect. While I don’t think the movie is scary overall, it does have horror elements. Jordan Peele sets up scenes that are meant to leave you tense and trying to prepare for what’s about to happen. Not to mention, this movie doesn’t seem completely far-fetched. You can’t help but to wonder. Not to mention, what would you do in this situation? How would you react? It’s thoughts like that that linger that makes this scary. Also, the performances are unsettling and the whole idea of what the doppelgangers are trying to do… it’s a lot for the senses but it’s not scary! At least not in the traditional sense!
Musical Score. The music is beautiful in this movie. Particularly the scene during the opening credits with the rabbits. It was so haunting! The music really helps elevate parts of the film.
All the Signs. I watched this movie twice and on the second viewing, it really helped put things into perspective now that I knew what I could expect at the end. I really liked how they were used to foreshadow what was coming, what we were going to learn about the characters and the story. I thought it was clever. I think it’s easy to notice on the first go around, but there’s nothing like watching and experiencing it again once you’ve already seen it and now know the truth.
Cons:
Not Enough Answered Questions. I talked with my brother-in-law and older sister about this movie briefly and we had a nice discussion. However, I still think there were a lot of questions that were raised in the movie and not enough were answered. I know movies can be left up to interpretation but when the movie itself poses questions or poses situations and doesn’t answer them or give clarity to what it’s presenting us. For example, we get a ton of information when we first meet Red, which poses some questions and gives a bit of answers. Then later, we get more information that gives us even more questions, but nothing is truly answered. It’s just frustrating because when those questions arise, it’s hard to ignore them.
Weak Last Act. I think the story remains interesting but compared to the set up, I think the last act is weak in how it’s portrayed to the audience. So, we get a lot of information in the last act which raises a ton of questions, but it’s delivered to us in a “villain’s monologue” and the information is not only a lot to take in, but it leaves a bit of head scratching. Sure, sure, you can argue that it was meant to be taken how the audience takes it but you’re clearly setting up a narrative and while it’s crazy, like don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the reveal, it doesn’t hold a clear weight.
The Other Family. I know why they were there, I know why they were included in the movie, but I would have rather just spent the entire movie with the Wilsons without spending the 10 minutes we do with that other family. Other than to show us Gabe’s whole thing of “keeping up with the Joneses” they could have been left out. It wasn’t a necessity personally.
Overall, I really liked Us. I don’t think it’s as good or tight as Get Out is but Us manages to find its way through some of its weaker and confusing aspects and still provide a thrilling experience. The acting is good all around, the Wilson family are all interesting people and I would love to just spend a day with them that doesn’t revolve around their doppelgangers coming to visit. The story is interesting and provides a lot of metaphors and allegory that can be interpreted in different ways by different people. The music is fantastic and adds to the creep factor. The horror aspect, while it’s not a scary film, works as it provides tension. Plus, all the signs that foreshadow what’s to come are handled so well that on the second watch, you find yourself taking note of them all. Now, I did have a few minor problems. I think the film has a weak last act compared to the first two. It also raises too many questions and not answering enough of them. It doesn’t come off smart but confusing and irritating. I also think the other family could have been cut from the film or at least not given an entire sequence by themselves later, who really cared about them? ANYWAYS, great movie, I really liked it and I think it’s worth the watch, especially to see what Jordan Peele thought up.
Rating: 4.0 out 5 stars.
Spoilers Below This Warning.
So, I knew I wasn’t going to do a spoiler review for this film. I could but I don’t think I want too. So, at the end, we find out that Adelaide who we’ve been hanging out with the entire movie is actually one of the Tethered. At the end, once they “win”, she has a flashback where she remembers what happened the night she got lost. As a little girl, she went into the hall of mirrors and found her shadow. So, Adelaide choked the real Adelaide and switched places with her. So Red in the movie, is the REAL Adelaide.
 I hope that’s understandable lol. But I was like damn that’s a good twist because it was. I didn’t see it coming, at least not till the end when I wondered if they switched places as children after Adelaide killed Red. So, Adelaide went back to the beach after Red took Jason. She went into the hall of mirrors and went back to the place where she first saw her shadow as a child. She goes down into the tunnels (which I wondered just how she knew the door was there, she didn’t act to me like she was trying to see if there was a secret but like she knew it was there even if it was subconsciously), anyway, she goes down and again, I wonder just how she knew where to go. But she finds Red. They have a confrontation and a fight and Red slashes and stabs her a lot. Finally, they go into one of the bedrooms and Adelaide ends up stabbing Red with the poker. She was dying but then started to whistle “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and Adelaide uses the handcuff chains to break her neck.
During this entire sequence, Adelaide does a lot of screaming, frustrated noises, grunts etc. When she drops Adelaide down to the ground, she makes some other weird carnal/animal noises. My friend said, “Did they just fuse together or something?” and I was like “Nooooo” because then I started to think they must have switched places at some point because what she just did was very animal like and we never saw Red make any of those noises outside of telling her family how to go after Adelaide’s family. It was just so interesting to me so how that all worked out in the end.
She finds Jason and he looks at her all weird and she tells him “it’s her, he’ll be safe, and things will be like they were before” and he is just giving her this weird look. When they’re in the car driving away, Adelaide is remembering that she is not the real Adelaide and Jason gives her this look and then she smiles at him and he puts his mask on.
Theories 
So, with the ending, I know there are a lot of theories floating around about it and I wanted to add in my two cents. One is that Jason and Pluto got switched at some point. I don’t buy that because when would they have been able to switch him? It doesn’t seem like the visit their summer house all the time and how would they not notice that suddenly Jason is different? Was he different? I mean there’s too many holes with that. Young Adelaide couldn’t even speak when she first switched, her parents thought her trauma affected her speech. Plus, the tethered can’t speak, at least not human language, so why can Jason (who may still be odd) speak clearly but Pluto, cannot, plus he moves like an animal most times and his face is badly burned. So, I just wanted to put my two cents in that theory.
The other theory that Jason and Chris from Get Out, are the same people is also ridiculous. Just because Chris doesn’t like talking about his mom doesn’t mean he wouldn’t talk about his sister and dad? Plus, why would Jason change his name to Chris? AND even more so, why would he forget the trauma that he witnessed as a kid with the tethered and then go off to some backwoods house with his girlfriend? I would be so cautious if that happened to me, I would never go anywhere with anyone. NOT to mention, didn’t we learn that his mother died in a car accident or something? Something where he felt like he killed her? Idk.
 The other theory that Get Out and Us exist in the same universe. Meh, maybe but how far apart do they exist?
Questions
So, I have a few questions. These are some of the questions that were raised, that I can remember right now that I don’t think the movie did anything to answer, or at least do it well enough.
  •  Where did Red get all those red jumpsuits, gloves and scissors? Obviously, she was inspired by Michael Jackson, as his t-shirt was the last thing she wore before the switch.
  • It’s implied that her dancing is the reason why the tethered looked at her like she was different. I did seem like at the end with the confrontation with Red and Adelaide that Red had better control of her body, even though Adelaide was hurt… it got wilder whereas Red remained tight in her movements. Sooo, during that dance scene, who was really controlling who in that scene?
  • How did Red get all the tethered to meet and understand her plan? How far do those tunnels go? Was it just California or was its other places?
  • What was her plan after the tethered took over? Were they just going to stay with their hand in hand? She said to Jason and Pluto when she sent them to play “Don’t damage our house” so I would assume they were just going to live out their lives up top but how long was the holding hands last?
  • What about the tethered finding their husbands and wives like the ones up top? Because they were revealed to be clones of the surface people instead of actual “shadows”, how does that work?
These are just some things I thought of while writing this review and when watching the movie.
Advertisements

Anticipated Movies of 2019

giphy
2019 is going to be an amazing year, that’s what they all say. I’m interested in seeing the number of movies that come out this year. 2018 was a great year for movies but it was a weird year for ME seeing them lol. I hope I can do even better this year and see the ones that I really want to see.
I’m sure there is also going to be a lot of movies that pop up during the year that won’t be on this list but that’s fine because this list contains the movies that I know about.
So, just like last year, I’m going to do my most anticipated movies by month.
January
Glass- January 18: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. I still have to watch Unbreakable, but Split was legit so I’m down for this movie.
February
What Men Want- Feb 8: A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. This has Taraji P. Henson in it, and it’s like What Women Want, which I really enjoy lol. I hope it’s good since 2018 wasn’t very nice to Taraji with those other two movies.
Happy Death Day 2U- Feb 14: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one so I’m down for this one.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World- Feb 22: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. The first two are fantastic movies, so I would imagine that this would be the same. The animation looks better than ever and I’m excited!
March
Chaos Walking- March 1: A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. Apparently, it’s based on a YA novel, these don’t usually do well when they’re “dystopian” at least not consistently, but Tom Holland is in it sooo I’m there.
Greta- March 1: A young woman befriends a lonely widow. I saw this trailer on YouTube and it looks bonkers! I’m down.
Captain Marvel- March 8: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Need I say anything more? I’m excited. I just hope Brie Larson kicks butt in the role because I love her, and I think she’s a great actress, but the trailers don’t do anything for her acting ability.
Us- March 15: A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. But Alyx, I thought you didn’t like scary movies… I don’t know. However, I want to support the culture lol and it looks interesting. Sooooo I’ll be there… scared, watching through my fingers.
Dumbo- March 29: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. I know people don’t like these “live action” Disney remakes but I’m optimistic and open to them. I have always loved Dumbo the animation movie so I’m excited about this one! Dumbo is so precious!
April
Avengers: Endgame-April 26: The Plot is unknown. Listen, Infinity War kicked me in the stomach so I’m ready. I don’t even care if they have the Care Bears come down and do a Care Bear stare, I’m there.
May
John Wick: Chapter 3- May 17: Plot Unknown but it’s the third installment in the series. John Wick kicks ass and I’m there.
The Sun is Also a Star- May 17: A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life. I really loved the book so I’m looking forward to the film. I wasn’t too impressed with the casting (I like Yara Shahidi but Natasha is Jamaican and described as having darker skin). Plus, Everything, Everything the film was okay so I’m like hmmm but I am optimistic.
Aladdin- May 24, 2019: A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name. I AM SO OPTIMISTIC! I’m curious because Guy Ritchie has a certain style and I wonder if it’ll fit this kind of movie. I really hope it’s good and I’m there.
June
Dark Phoenix-  June 7: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. I’m optimistic lol, I don’t think X-men Apocalypse was that great but there were parts of it I liked. The last time dark phoenix was done it wasn’t very good, so we’ll see how this turns out. I mean, the promo photos were pretty great so… optimistic.
Toy Story 4-June 21, 2019. When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Do we really need another Toy Story film? Not really… but will I be watching it? Most definitely.
July
Spider-Man: Far from Home-July 5, 2019: Peter Parker and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe, where Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio. I AM SO EXCITED! I really enjoyed Tom Holland in Civil War and I thought Homecoming was great, so I hope they keep that vibe they had in the first movie and make the sequel even better.
The Lion King- July 19, 2019: CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic. I wouldn’t call it “live action” it’s a CGI remake and I’m there. I thought the teaser was lovely, Simba was so precious and I’m curious to see how they’ve updated it. I’m into it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-July 26, 2019: A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. This has a great cast.
August
The New Mutants-August 2, 2019: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Another year and no movie, so I’m still waiting to see it!
September
It: Chapter Two-September 6, 2019: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I loved the first one…. another horror lol I know, I might even go past my “3 a year” quota if there are some I want to see, and I want to see this one. Great cast (though I still don’t like Chastain as older Beverly) and I’m interested to see how our adult Losers Club takes down Pennywise.
October
Zombieland 2- October 2019: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. I LOOVE the first one and it seems like the original actors are back so I’m there!
November
Kingsman 3-November 8. Plot unknown. I loved the first one, the second one was just okay, so I hope this one brings the trilogy back to being solid.
Frozen 2-November 27. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far in the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. I don’t even care, I love the first one. It doesn’t bother me at all nor is it annoying so I’m ready to see what happens next. The only thing that annoyed me was them playing that super long Olaf Christmas short in front of Coco. That was uncalled for.
December
Jumanji 2- December 13. Plot unknown. I really liked the first one to my surprise so I’m curious to see what they do for the sequel.
Little Women-December 25: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. I LOVE Little Women and I’m excited for this adaptation. I love Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and the other great acting talents in this film. It’s also being directed by Greta Gerwig who did Lady Bird which I loved so yeah, exciting.
Star Wars: Episode IX-December 20. Plot unknown. I have come to terms that I am not a big Star Wars fan. I enjoy the movies and I have enjoyed the new trilogy, so I’m interested in seeing the last one.
Not really Anticipating but want to see: 
January
The Kid Who Would Be King- Jan 25: Looks like it’s about King Arthur. I mean, it might be terrible, but the trailers seem fun.
Serenity- Jan 25: I have no idea what this movie is about, but I like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
February
Miss. Bala- Feb 1: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film. It reminds me of all the other films that are similar to this but it looks nice and I enjoy Gina Rodriguez.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part- Feb 8: No idea what this movie is about but the first one is cute so why not.
Alita: Battle Angel- Feb 14: The trailer seems interesting, it reminds me of Astroboy… I mean if anything the graphics look good.
March
Five Feet Apart-Mar 22: A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love. I’m not to sure if I think it’ll be any good, but I want to see Cole Sprouse not in Riverdale and I wonder if it’ll make me cry.
April
Shazam! – April 5: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. I’m not really anticipating this one, I’m just interested in seeing it because it looks fun.
The Best of Enemies- April 5: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. I saw this trailer when I saw The Hate U Give and it looks good and Taraji P. Henson is in it so even more reason to see it.
Little- April 12: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. I’m definitely going to see it to support! Plus it looks like it’ll be a good time.
May
Pokémon Detective Pikachu- May 10: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. I just want to see what happens, plus I think the Pokémon designs are pretty dope.
Rocketman- May 17: The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Taron Egerton is playing Elton John… sure lol. I like Taron, so why not.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters-May 31: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. I enjoyed the first one minus the boring human stuff but this one seems interesting.
June
The Secret Life of Pets 2-June 7: Plot unknown. The first one is cute so I’m into seeing the second one.
July
August
Hobbs And Shaw- August 2, 2019: A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs forming an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I like both characters in the franchise, they were both fun in The Fate of the Furious, so this should be fun to watch.
Artemis Fowl- August 9, 2019: Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund the search for his missing father to restore the family fortune. I read the book in middle school and I remember liking it, so I’m curious to see how the movie holds up. I will read the book again to truly compare but I can’t help but think this will be another A Wrinkle in Time mess.
September
Spies in Disguise- Sept 13: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the trailer was charming so sure, I’ll watch it.
October
Gemini Man- Oct 4: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. It’s basically like Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt it seems like, but I’m interested in seeing it.
Joker- October 4. A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. lol sure, why not.
The Addams Family-October 11. An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. It has a great cast being led by Oscar Isaac who is always a win in my book… but I’m not like off my seat for it even though I really enjoy The Addams Family. I’ve always thought that if they ever did anymore live action films Oscar Isaac should play Gomez Addams.
November
Charlie’s Angels- November 1. Plot Unknown. LOL sure. I’m curious.
Sonic the Hedgehog-November 15. A cop in rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. lol I’ve always liked Sonic… I think he looks a little weird on the poster, but I will wait to pass judgement when it’s released.
December
I’m sure there are movies that will pop up throughout the year that won’t be on this list but I’ll probably add more as I discover more.
What movies are you anticipating this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow this blog for more posts like this one!