Jordan Peele's latest horror film, Us, was released in theaters last week and it has sparked endless discussions, breakdowns, and think pieces from various outlets. One article that is particularly compelling comes from The Hollywood Reporter's Joelle Monique, who breaks down the film's message of class warfare and declares "there are no true monsters in Us."
"Jordan Peele's latest film unwraps the terror of two Americas, and has an ending that will be dissected for some time," Monique begins.
Warning: Us Spoilers Ahead…
In the movie, Adelaide (Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong'o from Black Panther, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and 12 Years a Slave) and her husband (Winston Duke from Black Panther) take their kids to their beach house expecting to unwind with friends (including Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale). Things soon take a turn when the character's "tethered" doppelgängers arrive to kill their counterparts.
"America has always been two nations divided by cash flow," Monique explains. The is reflected when when Red, Lupita Nyong'o's shadow character (who is later revealed to be the original Adelaide, switched by the Adelaide we've gotten to know in the film when they were children), declares "we are Americans."
"Throughout Us, Peele establishes a dual America. The Haves and the Have-Nots occupy the same space and time. They live completely separate lives, the outcomes of which are tethered to one another. When Adelaide meets her opposite, Red (also Nyong'o), they trade places. In a traditional horror, the audience is meant to be horrified by the reality of sweet Adelaide living underground, without language or intimate parental love. But Red didn't deserve that lifestyle forced on her either. She, too, was innocent," Monique writes.
"Peele holds a reflective mirror to American society," she adds.
"The good and evils of the world, the haves and the have nots, affect one another symbiotically. As long as they continue to be unable to hear or react to one another, the deception will corrupt everyone involved," she explains. "A simple coming together with [each] other might have spared Red and Adelaide a lifetime of torment."
Us is currently playing in theaters everywhere.
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