5 takeaways from Jordan Peele's 'Us' trailer
The 'Get Out' director is back, with a vengeance
Everyone was astounded by how good Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out was, and the adulation culminated in an Academy Award win for Best Original Screenplay.
Well, Peele is back with another horror film, and he dropped the trailer for Us on Twitter on Christmas Day. Almost immediately, everyone started sharing it and talking about it, with the video racking up 9.9 million views on Twitter alone in a matter of hours.
Also, naturally, people began almost immediately throwing around breakdowns and theories of what the film is actually about (if Get Out is anything to go by, Peele plans to hit us with some serious subtext). Here are five of our takeaways from the two-and-a-half-minute trailer...
1. I’ve Got 5 on It... is actually quite spooky
The trailer starts with a happy family driving somewhere together, enjoying the '90s hip hop classic I’ve Got 5 on It by duo Luniz. The father of the family, played by Winston Duke (who played M’baku in last year’s Black Panther), mentions how good the song is.
As the scenes got more intense in the trailer, the song becomes slower and more sinister, following in a tradition of transforming seemingly happy songs into atmospheric accompaniments to trailers, with horror films especially.
But the genius of this specific choice is that the song's main riff already has a sinister vibe, which once isolated and amplified becomes more evident.
2. Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker
When the family arrives at their destination, the beach, we see them connect with a white family. The couple are played by Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker.
This is particularly interesting because of what we know from Jordan Peele’s first film Get Out. Without throwing in too many spoiler alerts about Get Out, the white couple, and the themes of systematic racism, could end up playing a bigger role in the storyline, despite not appearing for longer than 10 seconds in the trailer. The casting of absurdist comedian Tim Heidecker is particularly interesting, as he’s so far been only part of smaller independent films and absurd comedy sketches.
3. First signs of danger
Jason, the youngest in our focal family unit, is seen wandering off and coming across a menacing-looking man on the beach, dressed in a trench coat with bloodied hands, this is pretty clearly where things turn for the worse. The mother, played by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, panics and starts searching for her son, who she finds, but it's clear that the mood has already shifted and the danger is here.
4. It’s 'Us'
After the beach, the family goes back home and starts to get ready for bed, when a pack of four strangers show up at their driveway. The Pack of four start to move quickly and strangely, surrounding the house and then making it inside, cornering the family.
They reveal who they are behind the scary masks they’re wearing and the surprise is, they look exactly like the family we’ve been following. 'It's us,' we hear.
They are being haunted by a zombie-like, maniacal version of themselves - is this the key to the subtext? We see the boy seem to almost get along with his doppelganger, while Nyong'o's character is hunting down her evil twin (it also looks like Elisabeth Moss's character has an evil twin/side, too.)
5. Fast editing and scary imagery
The last 40 seconds of the trailer kicks into high gear. We are bombarded with random, fast-cut scenes from the film.
Some involve blood and weapons, others involve running away from the terror. In this last part, it becomes certain what type of film we’re in store for. The style of editing draws from many sub-genres of horror, but also present an original, psychological, self-reflective form of terror. What's with the white bunnies at the very end? We have no idea, but we're certainly intrigued.
It's clear this isn't a direct sequel to Get Out, but we have the feeling it's a spiritual sequel, a movie that turns horror into social critique.
- Us is slated for a March 2019 release - we cannot wait
Updated: December 26, 2018 11:13 AM