At 9:40 p.m. on a Sunday, I found myself sitting with my family in a practically empty theater, munching on an array of harmful yet delicious snacks. We were about to see “Us.” Two years ago, I found myself in the same predicament. I was also in an empty movie theater on Sunday night, but I was about to see “Get Out.” In my opinion, “Get Out” fufilled the perfect formula for a great movie for me: symbolism, abnormality, thoughtful cinematography and of course, black people.
Ever since I could remember, horror has been my favorite movie genre. I live for the discomfort of being in the unknown, where a toy doll could be a monstrous killer and where small children are the scariest beings to exist. The genre of Horror is where conformity and serenity go to perish. Fast-forward to this past Sunday; I was anticipating the greatness of the horror movie and Queen Lupita herself.
In short, “Get Out” still reigns supreme. I am not saying that “Us” was a terrible movie and that no one should spend money to watch it. Personally, I felt that the movie left a lot for the audience to decipher. To describe “Us” in one word would be implicit. Director Jordan Peele inundated the film with a plethora of hidden messages and symbols that distracted me from fully enjoying the film. The immensely indirect clues force the audience to think and adapt to the mysterious, unrevealed world of horror.
As I drowsily sat in the back of the car, the faint sound of “I got five on it” rang in my ear, and theories swarm around in my mind. The Holton Core student in me wondered if the movie had a particular political agenda. I wondered if Peele intentionally positioned the tethered people in the forgotten areas beneath “us” to represent the forgotten lower classes in this country and if the tethered people rise exemplifies a possible Marxist revolution to occur in the future. I also wondered if Peele created this movie to symbolize how we are our own worst enemies.
Usually, horror movies use creatures from another world to terrorize the characters, but Peele uses the human characters, themselves, as the antagonists of the movie’s world. Peele may be trying to exhibit how the forgotten part of us can manifest into our own monsters. “Us” reminds us that there is no need for external creatures to terrorize us when they lie in each of us. “Us” explores the depth and complexity of human duality, which really is the true horror in itself. It is an assembly of double meanings meant to provoke thought and curiosity. There is no singular path to the end. There isn’t even an “end.” Scissors can be for cutting paper or bodies. Staying in one house can lead to a question of life or death. Monsters can lie in every corner, even in ourselves.