Kelly Loves Us (2019)! Daw!

Us 004

Rating: A-

Summary: A family’s vacation is interrupted by a home invasion. Theories afoot!

Blah blah blah I saw Get Out and I’ve been pumped for Jordan Peele’s next project because he’s of a directing style rarely seen nowadays and everything he touches will now be gold blah. Blah blah, Us was great, good pacing, Lupita Nyong’o is spectacular, the cinematography should win all awards, and oh boy, that lighting. You must see this in a theater and you must see this with other people seeing it for the first time because the experience that Us provides is most of the fun. Review over, ALL ABOARD THE “LET’S PRAISE JORDAN PEELE TRAIN.”

Let it be known that I don’t normally do horror (re: Hostel, why?), but Peele’s work doesn’t read so much as horror as it does thriller, suspense, and mystery. Plus, he’s the kind of director I can get behind. There’s so much intention behind every shot, every frame- there are messages and connections to the overarching themes in nearly everything you see on screen. Half the fun is trying to figure out the breadcrumb trail, the other half is appreciating the puzzles the Peele doles out. Not only are his visuals rich, but he’s proven to be a master of narratives, tension, and storytelling. On top of all the layers is the cherry on top: Peele doesn’t take the intelligence of his audience for granted.

That being said, Peele is a smart filmmaker. I’ve seen a few threads that are calling Us predictable, but his foreshadowing and hint-dropping are meant to lead you to that conclusions. Twists shouldn’t come out of thin air for shock’s sake. There needs to be a history and a purpose to make a meaningful story.

I mean, look at Season 2 of Westworld. Nobody liked being led on those three dozen wild goose chases. But people did like seeing how their confirmed knowledge was used to build Akecheta’s episode and that was a good chunk of why that episode captivated so many people. And that’s the kind of payoff that “predictability” can bring- and doesn’t it feel so good?

Peele isn’t just a great filmmaker whose craft is to be appreciated- he’s making the viewing an experience. He’s crafting a certain kind of film that produces a really special audience connection. It’s one thing to watch a movie that is engaging in action. It’s another thing to watch a movie that the audience is really touched by and emotionally invested in. It’s a completely different ball game when you watch a movie with people you don’t know, gasping at the same parts, trying to figure it out, and then dissecting it for hours after it has ended. It’s made the process of going to the movies fun again and well worth the money and time.

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