Everything You Need to Know About Us, Jordan Peele's Terrifying New Horror Film
The horror film is now playing in theaters
The 40-year-old Oscar winner’s latest provocation centers around a family whose serene vacation turns into a horrifying gamble of life and death when they’re terrorized by a group of eerie doppelgängers.
The film opens Friday after premiering to rave reviews at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas earlier in March. Here’s what you need to know.
How it differs from Get Out
Whereas Peele’s Oscar winner served as a commentary on race relations in America, his intentions are different with Us despite what his fans might think.
In a January 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Peele elaborated on what sets it apart from his debut.
“I realized I had never seen a horror movie of this kind, where there’s an African-American family at the center that just is,” he said. “After you get over the initial realization that you’re watching a black family in a horror film, you’re just watching a movie. You’re just watching people.”
Peele added, “I feel like it proves a very valid and different point than Get Out, which is, not everything is about race. Get Out proved that everything is about race. I’ve proved both points!”
Nyong’o and Duke had a strong bond before making Us
Long before playing husband and wife in Us, the good-looking duo met while studying acting at Yale. They would later go on to star in Black Panther before being cast by Peele.
Nyong’o’s evil “Other” voice is based on a real vocal condition
Nyong’o sounds nothing like herself as her evil twin, named Red — and as it turns out, she based her terrifying diction on a real-life medical condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which can be caused by emotional or physical trauma.
As she revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, she was inspired after hearing someone with that condition speak.
“Your vocal cords involuntarily spasm, creating this odd airflow,” she told the outlet. “I worked with my ENT and a vocal therapist to be able to do it but keep my voice safe because it’s quite dangerous for a healthy vocal box to do that kind of thing. Then I built off of that.”
Peele made up a whole mythology for the film
Peele knows audiences will have a lot of questions after walking out of Us — but everything makes sense to him.
“I have a pretty elaborate mythology and history of what’s going on in this film,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “And of course, the dilemma that comes up is how much of that do you tell? When there are questions left, and you know there is more to the story, your imagination is left to run wild.”
Nyong’o could be up for another Oscar
Nyong’o, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave could be in the running again for her performance as Adelaide. Critics were quick to praise that she’s “award-worthy” as a mother with a troubled past who’s pushed past the breaking point.
Us is now in theaters.