Director of ‘Get Out’ is Back With New Horror Film/Social Commentary ‘Us’
“When I decided to write this movie I was stricken by the fact that we’re in a time where we fear The Other,” Jordan Peele on his new movie ‘Us.’
Oscar-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele is back with another horror film that comments on the social politics of our time that debuted at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) March 8.
Comedic actor and writer Jordan Peele was already famous for pushing the envelope in his much acclaimed sketch show ‘Key and Peele’, but he broadened his reach to 2017’s acclaimed horror film ‘Get Out’, winning an Oscar for writing. His new film, ‘Us’, debuted to similar reactions that also point to social commentary on class and race in America.
The movie’s plot tells a story about an upper-class African American family of four, led by Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, during a summer beach vacation where a quartet of feral doppelgängers with murderous motives menaces them.
Early reviews state that the film is an allegory for a divided nation. In the movie, when one of the evil twins is asked who they are, the reply is, “We’re Americans”; even the title, ‘Us’, could also be seen as “U.S.”
After the screening at South by Southwest, Peele was asked in a Q&A to explain what his film was about. He conceded, “I have a very clear meaning and commentary I’m trying to strike with this film. I’m also trying to design a film that’s very personal for every individual. On the broader strokes of things, this movie is about this country.”
“When I decided to write this movie I was stricken by the fact that we’re in a time where we fear The Other, whether it’s the mysterious invader we think is going to come and kill us or take our jobs, or the faction we don’t live near that voted a different way than us,” he continued. “We’re all about pointing the finger. I wanted to suggest maybe the monster we really need to look at has our face. Maybe the evil is us.”
Indeed, these are obviously recurring themes in our current political and social climate. Tellingly, in the film, the lead actors (which also include Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) also play their wicked doubles. No doubt, that is highly symbolic.
Peele praised his stars for their dedication to the roles. “[The actors] developed two characters and not just in a two-dimensional way but in a three, four-dimensional way, and I really got everybody’s individual crazy out of them and for that I’m forever proud of them,” he said, and added, “Lupita scared the s— out of me.”
‘Us’ opens nationwide on March 22.