Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss
Release Date: June 18, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
From Academy Award-winning visionary Jordan Peele comes another original nightmare. Starring Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Winston Duke (Black Panther), an endearing American family is pitted against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.
From the unique mind of Jordan Peele, the acclaimed writer and director of ‘Get Out’ comes another clever thriller to get under your skin. ‘US’ accompanies a caring family of four whose relaxing family vacation is thrown into terror and chaos after four individuals wearing red jumpsuits and eerily mirroring each family member arrive at their rental home. But as the family comes face to face with their deranged doppelgängers and their violent tendencies it quickly becomes clear that their unknown plan has something to do with them, and one group likely won’t be making it out alive.
Written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele (Get Out), Peele does a magnificent job at the helm of ‘US’ carefully guiding along his own intricate script and delivering quite the impressive sophomore outing as writer/director. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the talented and well selected cast which includes Lupita Nyong’o (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Winston Duke (Black Panther), Elisabeth Moss (TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale), Tim Heidecker (TV’s Black Monday), Shahadi Wright Joseph (The Lion King 2019), Evan Alex (TV’s Kidding), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and more, nearly all offering great performances in each of their respective roles for the most part and helping a great deal in allowing the film work so smoothly.
‘US’ is an intense, intricately detailed and frequently hilarious horror thriller that will keep you guessing along the way, while dragging you for a wildly entertaining, thought provoking and quite clever overall ride that you won’t want to miss out on. Delving into various familiar aspects of the world around us, while managing to craft a horror film that reflects the moral uncertainty and overall state of our world today, yet at the same time only in mirroring ways similar to the intruders our characters onscreen face and therefore allowing it be simply a fun horror movie in its own way at the same time as something potentially much greater. ‘US’ is a solid sophomore outing behind the camera from filmmaker Jordan Peele who wisely dares to do something different instead of merely attempting to rehash the success of his hit directorial debut ‘Get Out’, and only benefiting all the more from a well selected and highly capable cast. I can’t urge folks strongly enough to try and go out of your way to give ‘US’ a whirl whenever convenient. For fans of Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ and/or of the key cast, along with genre fans in general and anyone else even the slightest bit interested in the movie to begin with who missed it in theaters, it will likely have no trouble proving well worth two hours of your time and the price of a rental at the absolute least. And don’t be overly surprised if you find yourself additionally wanting to purchase a copy shortly thereafter.
Overall, ‘US’ is a fun, tense and intricate thriller that delves into the familiar and unfamiliar alike, taking viewers along for a smart, eerie and peculiar ride that’s well worth taking, while also marking a noteworthy sophomore outing for filmmaker Jordan Peele that’s further complimented by a talented cast. ‘US’ is definitely highly recommended, especially for any fans of Jordan Peele’s continually impressive work as a filmmaker, along with anyone that enjoys a fairly clever and incredibly well made thriller, or might simply be intrigued by the film. I would additionally encourage both folks that love it or may be uncertain about it after watching to consider revisiting it at some point, it only improves upon each subsequent viewing and makes you appreciate it all the more.
The Blu-ray release of ‘US’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable problems to be uncovered along the way. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving moments, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that should more than satisfy both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack goes a great job of amplifying the onscreen tension and fun while offering a clean, smooth and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send music, nature elements, creepy noises and some action effects along with more whipping throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers across the board and perfectly complements the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘US’ includes a fairly decent collection of extras that take you deeper into the film. Included on the release are some ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 6 minutes in length altogether) and a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the film to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage, outtakes and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Monsters Within US’ (running approximately 5 minutes), ‘Tethered Together: Making US Twice’ (approximately 7 minutes), ‘Redefining A Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror’ (5 minutes), ‘The Duality of US’ (10 minutes), ‘Becoming Red’ (4 minutes), ‘Scene Explorations’ for 3 key sequences (approximately 8 minutes combined), plus ‘We’re All Dying’ and ‘As Above, So Below: Grand Pas De Deux’ (5 minutes).