I usually do not enjoy horror movies. I dislike seeing people dehumanized, treated like meat, slashed, sawed, and physically tortured. However, Us is different and worth watching.
Us is shot in Southern California. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is prominent in several scenes. Us is more than just a scary movie with an appropriate amount of discreet stabbing, skull smashing, and neck slitting. Us is also a good story with an exciting premise and has some excellent acting.
The film begins in 1986 when the daughter Adelaide wanders away while at the Santa Cruz Beach and sees someone who looks identical to herself. The movie then moves to the present day. Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) is grown and a mother with two kids. Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke, M’Baku in Black Panther) is her nice, loving, “he thinks he’s funny” husband.
This family of four is at their vacation home in Santa Cruz. A similar-looking family confronts them (at night of course). These look-alikes grunt, move quickly, and proceed to terrorize the family for no obvious reason. One of these look-alikes named Red (also played by Lupita) speaks cryptically at great length and with great difficulty. The families are “tethered together,” explains Red. Then the chaos begins.
Terror is happening throughout the town, so no help is available. In desperation, they go to their friends Kitty & Josh Tyler (Elisabeth Moss & Tim Heidecker). The Tyler’s look-alikes are terrorizing the Tyler’s. Elisabeth Moss also provides a great performance being terrorized (as Kitty Tyler) and terrorizing (as Dahlia).
A look-alike injures the husband. Therefore, Lupita becomes the dominant force in the family. Lupita shines in this movie – she is intense, mean, loving, brave, and deals with the mayhem. Her acting is the main reason to watch this movie.
The injured husband stays back and supplies the one-liners like, “Your Mom left the car” when everyone knows she should have stayed in the car.
The ending explains the deeper meaning of the film. But the “fun” of this movie is watching Lupita deal with the look-alikes and appropriately go into the sub, sub, basement to figure this shit out.
There is some bloodletting and skull-crushing. But the intensity and suspense, a few scares, and the excellent acting by Lupita Nyong’o make this a horror movie worth watching.