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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 18 April, 2019

Jordan Peele’s new horror Us packs even more thrills than Get Out - here's the trailer

It stars Lupita Nyong’o in her most talked-about role yet.

Source: Journal Media Studio/YouTube

IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS since Jordan Peele first unveiled Get Out, the thought-provoking satirical horror that was very hard to forget. His directorial debut earned him four Academy Award nominations (and one win) and a place within TIME’s top 10 films of the year.

Now it’s time for his second – and it’s in cinemas this Friday.

As Peele warned The Guardian, it’s a very different film to Get Out. When Peele was studying at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, he would often visit a very quiet train station where he feared he might run into his doppleganger late at night. What would he have done? Would it have been as creepy as he feared?

And that’s where I love to start with a horror story: ‘What is this primal thing that’s affecting me in a way that I don’t quite understand?’

Starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (Black Panther), the film kicks off on the way to a Californian beach holiday in Santa Cruz. When four strangers arrive to the door wearing red jumpsuits and clutching gold scissors, the family quickly realise they look exactly like them. Or terrifying versions of them, at least.

lupita Source: YouTube

But don’t expect the racial focus that made Get Out so real and uncomfortable, Peele tells The Guardian:

Scores of people will walk into this movie waiting for the racial commentary, and when it doesn’t come in the form they’re looking for, they’ll be forced to ask themselves: ‘Why did I think a movie with black people had to be about blackness?’

As different as they are, the two films are only the start of a series Peele has planned: “Without answering directly if they’re in the same universe, I will say that yes, I consider this part of the same project.” Each addition to this horror ‘series’ will be as unsettling and thought-provoking as the next, says Peele:

What I love to explore with my future films as well as in this series [...] is the idea that we need to look no further than the mirror to find the darkest monster of all.

getout Source: YouTube

You might recognise Santa Cruz from films like The Lost Boys, Dangerous Minds and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. As Peele told Vanity Fair, it was a great backdrop to show something we don’t often see: “I want to see a black family on the beach, goddamnit! I want to see a black family buy a boat. That happens. And we’ve never seen it.”

Nyong’o and Duke not only starred in Black Panther together, but attended Yale at the same time – a familiarity that brings an extra layer to the film. As Peele explains: 

There was a rhythm between the two that allowed the other one to sing and go even further. Lupita is constantly cranking up the tension in this movie [...] Winston’s the release valve to that. 

The film just had an early special screening for writers of colour at SXSW in Austin and at screenings in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. And it has critics in an absolute spin already. Film critic Clayton Davis called it a “horror masterpiece” and commends Lupita’s performance. Janelle Monáe found it hard to articulate her reaction:

One thing nearly all critics are united about is Nyong’o's incredible performance as Adelaide and Red. Vulture called her performance ‘astounding’:

But Nyong’o’s “Red,” as she’s credited, is an achievement on another level; a physical, vocal, and emotional performance so surgical in its uncanniness that it almost feels like it could not be the work of a flesh-and-blood human.

lup Source: YouTube

Like Get Out, the film was designed to be a thought-provoker. Peele explained to The LA Times: “I think my favourite thing is the idea that people will leave ready to have a conversation, with whoever they’re with.”

Chillingly, he added: “I wanted to suggest that maybe the monster we really need to look at has our face – maybe the evil is us.”

Like to see Jordan Peele’s latest creation for yourself? You’re in luck – Us hits cinemas this Friday on general release from Universal Pictures. Find out more about the film here or book tickets to see it at your local cinema here.

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