Rated 4.0

Oh, those evil doppelgangers and their wonderful place in horror lore. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Twin Peaks, The Thing and now Us, Jordan Peele’s extremely creepy follow up to Get Out. I ask you, what’s creepier than your double trying to slash your neck? Peele knows that it’s the ultimate nightmare, and Us plays upon it with chilling glee. The film starts with a quote about America having many miles of tunnels underneath its surface, then a quick flashback shot of a C.H.U.D. videotape next to a VCR. A TV plays an advertisement for Hands Across America, and you already have all sorts of subtext before anything even really happens. When a young girl (Madison Curry) in the same ’80s flashback drifts away from her father at an amusement park and finds herself in a darkened hall of mirrors, Peele immediately states that he’s not playing around with this movie. Prepare to be scared, disturbed and uncomfortable in a good way. The film then jumps to the present day, where Adelaide and Gabe (Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) are taking their children, Zora and Jason (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) to the beach. It’s the same beach we saw in the flashback and, much to her chagrin, Adelaide was that young girl who ventured into that hall of mirrors. She’s not happy about revisiting the Santa Cruz pier, but the husband and kids really want to, so she takes one for the team. Us has a larger scope than I was expecting and qualifies as one of the better apocalypse movies I’ve ever seen. No question, writer-director Peele has been gobbling up zombie, slasher and isolation horror movies all of his life, and their influences play a significant part in his vision. The movie is a mind-bender, but it’s also an efficient, bare-knuckled horror-thriller. In short, it’s the whole package as far as horror movies go.