Us (2019)

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker

Directed by: Jordan Peele

Rating: 1 2 3 4 and a half

I absolutely loved Jordan Peele's bold, thought-provoking and wildly entertaining horror debut Get Out, so was super excited to see what he'd come up with next. One of the film's outstanding achievements was to take classic horror tropes – body swaps, hypnosis and the family who really aren't what they seem – and transform them into something completely fresh and new - or twisted and uncanny. Could he pull it off again with Us?

At the risk of repeating myself, hell yeah.

Lupita Nyong'o, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us.

The year is 1986. On a beach boulevard not a million miles away from The Lost Boys' Santa Carla, a little girl suffers a terrifying encounter that will mark her for the rest of her life.

Thirty years on, the encounter us repeated – but this time the blank-eyed doppelganger she came face-to-face with in the funhouse hall of mirrors has brought her family...

What ensues plays out like a high octane remake of The People Under the Stairs meets Dead Ringers with a bit of Home Alone thrown in for good measure; a nail-biting home invasion horror that spirals out of control as a deadly, feral underclass of tunnel-dwelling doubles, intrinsically linked to their above ground counterparts, get set to bring them down.

Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us.

Is this a criticism of America's class system or immigration policies? A grim parable showing just how vicious the ruling castes become when threatened with destruction? Or is it just a stonkingly gripping horror movie that packs punch after punch yet still manages to mould believable characters we can get behind and throw in a few genuine belly laughs at the expense of pop culture?

I'll leave you to decide. All I'll say is that, while it may lack the crowd-pleasing exuberance of Get Out, Us is equally powerful, thought-provoking and entertaining, and features great performances from the whole cast, from Lupita Nyong'o's fierce, troubled mother to Elisabeth Moss's spoilt, vodka-swilling princess to the various young actors in the children's roles.

Creepy, unsettling and compelling, Us is another 2019 horror must-see.

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