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Official Discussion: Us [SPOILERS]

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Summary:

Husband and wife, Gabe and Adelaide Wilson, take their children to their beach house, hoping to spend time with friends. Their serenity soon turns to tension and chaos when a group of evil strangers, who look exactly like them, arrive.

Director:

Jordan Peele

Writers:

screenplay by Jordan Peele

Cast:

  • Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson / Red

  • Madison Curry as younger Adelaide / Red

  • Winston Duke as Gabriel "Gabe" Wilson / Abraham

  • Shahadi Wright Joseph as Zora Wilson / Umbrae

  • Evan Alex as Jason Wilson / Pluto

  • Elisabeth Moss as Kitty Tyler / Dahlia

  • Tim Heidecker as Josh Tyler / Tex

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Russell

  • Thomas / Weyland

  • Anna Diop as Rayne Thomas / Eartha

  • Cali Sheldon as Gwen / Io

  • Noelle Sheldon as Maggie / Nix

  • Duke Nicholson as Danny / Tony

  • Kara Hayward as Nancy / Syd

  • Nathan Harrington as Glen / Jack


Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Metacritic: 80/100

After Credits Scene? No


All previous official discussions can be found on /r/discussionarchive

18.8k comments
97% Upvoted
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level 1

I believe that the movie is about identity. For the sake of simplicity, we will call the real Adelaide “Red” (the one who died at the end), and the fake one “White” (the one who lives at the end).

For Adelaide’s parents, Red is the real Adelaide, but for Adelaide’s children, White is the real Adelaide. Identity is not fixed, but ever-changing and relative. Also how identity can be shaped and defined by the people around you. This could be willingly assimilating into a larger culture like White does (such as how POC children attempt to have disdain for or disregard their cultures just to fit in with the majority, like how some Black women in America wear weaves because of internalized racism—note, sometimes it is just a preference). Or it could be to forcefully to fit into a larger culture as Red does (such as how immigrants are forced to change the language they speak and the customs they follow which are seen as foreign in their new country). This could be shown in how White slowly becomes more human and can speak normally and how Red slowly becomes more like a doppelgänger and can barely speak/croaks (because she stops speaking and adopts the guttural croaking language of the doppelgängers). The fact that Red can barely speak could allude to minorities forgetting their mother tongue because of their assimilation into a White, English America.

However, self-identity can never be taken from you because it is who you are inside. You can try to define yourself as someone/something else, but you cannot change your true nature/identity. This can be shown through Red’s becoming the doppelgängers’ leader through her mesmerizing dance (a symbol of her human identity). It could also be shown through White’s guttural growling when she kills one of the tethered twins (when Jason first notices something off about his mother).

In the end, it is an interesting study on how identity is constructed or molded within people, especially in accordance with the people you are surrounded with and relative to other people.

level 1

Kind of a mixed bag for me, I liked the ideas but something was off in the overall execution and tone.

In Get Out, the humor felt more natural from the inherent awkwardness of the situation, whereas here it just felt forced and weird. Like for example, they don't seem at all bothered by their friend's deaths, they just kind of shrug it off. The Ophelia scene was super unfunny and felt like one of those Key and Peele sketches that you skip.

Don't get me wrong, still much better than the standard horror movies you get every year. But compared to Get Out something was missing and I think demonstrated a certain lack of awareness of how to mix horror with comedy well, despite successfully doing so in Get Out.

level 1

okay so if Adelaide/Red are switched, why does the above ground Adelaide have the memory of walking to that street game and finding her doppelgänger? and the Red underground have memory of walking underneath? How could their own memories switch?

level 1

Anyone notice the name of the House of Mirrors changed from Shaman something to Merlin? A slight nod to PC culture?

level 1
3 points · 2 days ago

Not to be that person who overly focuses on details, but a quick thought:

It was mentioned that the tethered are clones developed from a human experiment. As they clones were active in the 1980s, one can assume the experiments are taken place prior to that most likely in the 1950s when human experimentation was at its darkest. As the clones are a national occurrence that's chain begun then, one can assume that new Americans do not have clones. First and second generation Americans are probably likely to not have clones because their families weren't present in America while the experimentation was taken place. These new Americans are now left in a society alongside the tethered. This may be a stretch, sorry!!

level 1

that last fight scene was amazing

level 1

I'm a little late to this party, but I finally saw this after mostly loving Get Out, and couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed. Us has a great premise, but it pretty quickly fell into conventional horror territory and rarely rose above it.

It also seemed to me like it had a strange worst-of-all-worlds approach to the underlying theme or metaphor or what have you -- if the entire movie was supposed to be a metaphor, then why include the underground tunnels / rabbit explanation? On the other hand, if that was supposed to be a legitimate story point, it was way too rushed and silly to be satisfying.

Overall, I imagine Us would be fine for horror fans. I was hoping for something deeper, more along the lines of the first 2/3 of Get Out (before it, too, degenerated into standard horror fare), and was disappointed.

level 2

It's disappointing because the imagery was initially on point and set the mood for what you think would be psychological horror. But then the cheesy one-liners and the government-fucked-us type horror started and I couldn't figure out if they were going for horror comedy or whether it was just a bad horror flick.

I really hope that Peele doesn't go the way of M. Night, because I liked Get Out, but this film was subpar.

level 3

I liked the look of it and for whatever reason going into it I thought it would be better than Get Out but my initial reaction is that its not. Get Out's social commentary worked and it wasn't too forced I thought. This felt sort of like we need to capitalize on the success of that and follow up with something great. It definitely felt more horror than Get Out and I liked the acting overall and the premise was interesting but yes really didn't finish strong. Interesting you mention Night because I remember most people I would say digged Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, but a lot of people started panning him with The Village and part of it was probably his forced twist endings. It kinda felt like on that level but not as terrible.

Has peele indicated if he will only direct horror films or try other genres as well?

level 1

Did not expect this to be such an Easter-appropriate movie but here we are.

level 1
5 points · 3 days ago

Not sure if this has been pointed out, but when you look how Adelaide remembers her encounter with Red there is an interesting play on perspective. In the beginning, when the audience is supposed to assume that the Adelaide we are seeing is the original, we see her approach the “doppelgänger” while its back is turned. I thought this is interesting because once we realize that Adelaide is actually a tether, that scene is no longer an random encounter but rather a deliberate kidnapping, made clear by the twist. That scene where Adelaide sees the “doppelgänger” as its back turned becomes less of a stylistic choice to build suspense but rather another form of foreshadowing of Adelaides true origin. I could be completely off but I figured I share.

level 2

Just saw it myself so still working through it. Could that really have been intentional on the tether's part? I guess it depends on how much they really knew about the world above them... I didn't get the impression they knew enough for her to plan that, more her just stumbling into the situation and taking advantage of it.

level 3
2 points · 2 days ago

Oh most definitely. I was trying to be as brief as possible, but I do agree that it was her seizing the moment. The movie even hints that if she wasn’t mirroring her roaming off they wouldn’t have met. However, that’s also exactly what I mean when that first flashback becomes “a deliberate kidnapping”. I could definitely be confusing myself, but I want to assume that the first flashback is from the perspective of the doppelgänger. With that and the twist in mind, when she is gradually approaching her other, her back is still turned. By the end, we now know that how she remembered those events were skewed to make her look like the real Adelaide, but when she was the imposter the whole time. So I assume that she didn’t just bump into her other, but rather saw an opportunity and snuck behind her.

level 1

This movie sucked

level 2
0 points · 3 days ago

Thank you.

I am high rn, and I watched the movie about a week ago. I thought it was the worst movie ever, fell asleep.

I don't understand all the good ratings. It was horrible.

level 2

Why?

level 3

Just the story was so poorly written, plotholes never explained. The acting was great and the filming as well. The story was just terrrible

level 4

I can’t take people who complain about plot-holes seriously. More are a lot more then just plot.

level 4

What plot holes?

level 5
3 points · 3 days ago

Lupita Nyong'o

a lot of those who say a film has plot-holes comes from people who want a film spoon-fed to them, of course the film doesn't include an explanation for every single bit, but it works well. We as an audience have to work through deliberate silence from the director when he doesn't gives us part of the film so we can add more of a "personal" touch on our own. Peele's said this plenty of times when making the stuff hes made. It's like a piece of art we ought to take what is before us, and we interpret and add to it. Now if you just want to sit and be given every bit, then this movie isn't for you, at least not Peele's style, however there are plenty of other films that would be more yours/

level 6
1 point · 16 hours ago · edited 15 hours ago

Nah there’s some pretty gaping holes here the writer expect us to fill in that make no logical sense. It would be fine if Peele went the paranormal route and just left it up to the supernatural, but they tried to explain how the cloning experiment and the life of the clones afterwards fit into everything. They tried to make it sound practical, then left huge practical holes that don’t have an explanation. Let’s go through them;

  1. Why didn’t the switched girl just go back up the escalator. Why didn’t she show the people living in misery how to go up the escalator? Why didn’t they just walk up the escalator?

  2. How did they survive off raw rabbit. This is a lot to unpack, because it’s impossible, but the writers felt the need to explain what the tethered ate to live and did a horrendous job of it.

  3. Where do the tethered get clothes, where do the carnival toys come from, etc. Really all the logistics concerning how the tethered lived down there.

  4. When is the tethered thing working/not working? How did the tethered get up the escalator if they were spazzing out doing what their copies were doing?

  5. What happens when someone takes a flight irl? Does the tethered just run into a wall over and over or what?

  6. How were the tethered quarters crystal clean? What did the rabbits eat? Where did they shit/give birth?

I could go on about more things that don’t make sense. Again, this is all fine if they just left it up for the supernatural to explain. Instead, they told us how the government enacted all of it, the cloning to explain the soul-bound tether behavior, the rabbits for the food and the jumpsuits for the clothes. These are all practical explanations for the viewer. None of them come close to sufficing.

level 1

Of all the horror movies I’ve seen, Us did a fantastic job of keeping attention to detail with plot clues. The quotes about tunnels at the beginning and the title sequence with the rabbits seriously left me wondering what they meant. As the movie progressed, I saw more mementos of rabbits throughout, until we saw the truth unfold at the end, which felt very satisfying to discover.

level 1

Little detail I noticed: Elisabeth Moss' doppelganger cuts her cheek with the scissors. The original character had mentioned how she had had plastic surgery.

I see the class/party lines the movie addresses, but to me it seemed like it had a much wider scope of superficiality, our base natures, and what makes us human.

The ending twist was predictable, not gonna lie, but it had its own interesting implications as far as those themes go. Is Adelaide/Red any less human because of something she didn't even remember until the very end of the movie?

level 2
13 points · 4 days ago

I thought the fact that she originated as a tether tried to make a point that you're not born a certain way, you're formed by the people around you and your life experiences.

At one point red said "We're human too" along those lines, leading me to think they're the same completely, just changed by their upbringing.

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