Us (Jordan Peele, 2019)

What's it about? A family on a beach holiday are threatened by their evil doppelgängers. Is it all somehow linked to a childhood trauma of the mother, Adelaide ( Lupita Nyong'o), at the same beach?

Is it any good? On paper, this is a promising concept, with plenty of potential for both scares and ideas. In practice, however, it doesn't quite satisfy. Compared to Peele's excellent debut feature Get Out, which had a clean satirical theme skewering its horror, this adopts a more ambiguous position. Perhaps it is about the dark shadow-self that resides in everyone? Or maybe it's a swipe at American propensity for violence against those different from them (amusingly captured when the family compare kill-counts). Or is it a topical political treatise about American fear of immigrants taking over. It could be all, or none, of those things, or indeed about something else entirely. Thing is, the film itself doesn't seem too sure, so it never really delivers a knockout blow, with the humour undermining, rather than accentuating the horror. As a result, it's not that scary, although there's some creepy moments thanks to some tidy editing in the climactic scenes, and to Nyong'o, who is clearly having a ball in her double role. It's still entertaining enough, but it might have worked better in a tighter format as a Twilight Zone episode if anyone were ever to reboot that series.

Anything else I should know? *Cue Twilight Zone music* Well, well, turns out The Twilight Zone has indeed been rebooted by none other than.....Jordan Peele. It's an inferior imitation of the old series though.  As it turns out, it was indeed an old Twilight Zone episode, 'Mirror Image', which sowed the seed for Us in his brain. Here's some thoughts from him on his inspiration for Us.

What does the Fonz think? 11:11 out of 20:20

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