10/04/2019

FILM REVIEW: Us

(beep)

I'm so sorry future anna hahaha, I saw a horror film and you're probably experiencing the consequences!! eeee! I've wanted to watch Jordan Peele's new film but I also haven't because horror films are definitely not my jam! But a friend wanted to go, so I said I would too. They asked if I'd seen Get Out (Peele's previous horror blockbuster), and I said that I'd read the script because I was too scared to watch it. She then asked if I'd watched the trailer for Us. I said that I'd only watched half because it scared me hahaha! She just looked at me and laughed. It was all gonna be fine, and it actually was!!

This review contains spoilers, you have been warned!!!

STORY

Us follows a family returning to their beach house and visiting a beach front where the Mother Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) experienced a traumatic moment which had shaped her life since. After the visit, she confesses her worries to her husband and says she is sure something will happen that night. And it does. 4 Masked people force their way into the house and it turns out to be each member of the family, but their bad shadow version.

I really liked the whole idea of the story, that we all have these dark sides, in this case physically, and how we live our life shapes them. I felt quite lucky watching the film as each character on screen had something about them that could be dangerous if they were to come against it (large build, track runner, plays with fire), but I'm super unfit and can't even lift my younger brother so I think me and my bad shadow would just have to sit and talk because we'd just be so out of breath hahah! One thing I found really funny at this point was when the shadows were asked who they were and they replied with "Americans." I loved it because even though the shadows aren't necessarily real people, they might act how real people do, which is awful to see. We really do need to start being kinder and taking care of our neighbours and planet!

I liked how the story progressed and the family didn't stay still for long. It was realistic (if it can be haha) to how I might react to things which I loved about it because sometimes horror film characters do stupid things and there is literally no reason for it, so I liked that.

One thing that did confuse me was the death of the young shadow boy. He was setting us up for a trap, but then the real boy was able to make him copy him and kill him, but like, how?? Why did the shadow boy suddenly copy him and walk into the fire? like????? that was the only bit that didn't seem right to me. If I'd done it, I think I would've had the boy try and trick the shadow boy, ultimately ending his life, but this just didn't make sense to me, especially after how clever all the other shadow people were. But hey ho, it set up the boy being taken which lead to the big ending of the story.

I really liked the twist, how the bad person became the good and the good became the bad (which let us know why she could talk and the others couldn't) when she had stumbled upon the entrance to the sewers in her childhood (which wouldn't have happened if she'd listened to her parents and stayed where she was omg listen to your parents!!!!). It really let the story made sense and why she was angry with the upstairs world and wanted to harm her other self because of it. I loved the idea of the dance and how every movement meant something.

I thought the ending was really powerful, with the son finding out the truth about his mother and us seeing a large line of the shadow people taking their place along the line of America. It was a great ending, yet it would've made more sense if I knew more about the Food for America (was that even the charity??) thing that had been started when she was a child. Like it was a great ending for the main people, but the rest of the shadow people... like what the heck? I don't understand why they're all just stood there? like what is their purpose?

So even though some bits scared me, I haven't been super affected, like I was after watching the ring, but it's still left me with some fear and worry for the world. There were only 2 points that I didn't really follow (the boy's death and the shadow people in a line), but other than that I thought it was a great success and I'm excited to see what Mr Peele does next!

CAST

What a cast!!! Such strong actors, including the young children. Madison Curry who played young Adelaide and Red was phenomenal. She was insane, seriously! Her movement, facial expressions, she was just enchanting. She truly became the characters she was playing. I just can't give her enough praise, and cannot wait to see what she does next. She is a true star. It truly amazed me how well everyone played 2 versions of themselves and so well, with awe, anger and true passion and feeling. I couldn't even look at the screen when Zora (Red's daughter, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph) was on it. Her expressions were too scary haha! I seriously cannot praise this cast enough. Playing one character is tough enough, but to play a character in 2 different ways takes skill.

CINEMATOGRAPHY & EDITING

The shadows, the colours, the harsh lighting, all played a part in creating a scary yet welcoming atmosphere. One thing that I think will be looked at forever is when the Red family is standing in the driveway of the holiday home and the light is so blinding that they look just like dark figures holding hands. It was so simple yet so powerful and changed the beautiful landscape to something sharp and dangerous. I loved the parallel shots between the upper earth and the underworld, giving us something familiar but also something we don't want to see. One thing that I thought was done really well was the dance scenes and how they were shot and edited. They flowed together yet you could pull the 2 apart. It flowed and was pretty, with the hazy lighting, but then we were taken back to the hospital atmosphere with harsh yellow lighting. Yet it was similar with the camera techniques. It was a well put together production, with a lot of work put into it.

MISE-EN-SCENE

This film was a time capsule, taking us back to the 80s. Even in the present day, music, fashion and toys were shown, really setting the scene for the shadow people and how they would end the film. One thing that really stood out for me were the red jumpsuits that the shadow people wore. It was like a prison uniform, as they were really prisoners, stood following the life of the people above them even if they didn't want it. The colour also showed us the bloodshed and was super striking.

The underpasses were really incredible to me. The idea that so many tunnels and old areas are still open lets the imagination run wild, thinking that anything could be down there! The areas were stylish with pastel coloured tiles, making us think of hospitals and clean spaces with the symmetry, but this was juxtaposed with the roaming rabbits and the dark classroom-esque spaces. Again, the idea of being prisoners was suggested again with the long rows of metal bunk beds where the shadows slept, did it want us to feel sorry for them?

ANYTHING ELSE?

I was surprised that I haven't been as affected by it as I thought I would be. It was scary, with a few jump scares, but it hasn't left me scared to walk alone or not wanting to look out the window incase my shadow version is standing out of breath from the walk to find me haha! If you are wanting to watch it but a bit like me (in mindset, not fitness), go and watch it, it's not as bad as you think!

So that's my kinda review/me just spilling my thoughts on Us. Have you seen it? Are you going to? Let me know your thoughts as I'd love to hear them!

Have a great day and I'll see you next time! Don't watch any more horror films whilst I'm away future anna!

(beep)

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