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Andrew

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I thought Get Out was the best horror film of 2017 - perhaps a low bar to set, since it's far from my favorite genre - but I thought it was exceptionally well-crafted, with an excellent performance by Daniel Kaluuya, as well as having a terrific social message that is as far from preachy as one can get.  So I was very pleased to find Us to be even better. 

As I wrote in my review, I suspect it won't be as popular, because Get Out's commentary on white appropriation of black culture is far more palatable than Us' implication of its entire viewing audience - and the need for revolt by the proletariat does not go down easy in a country still terrified by the word socialism.  Lupita Nyong'o is superb here, having the added challenge of playing the lead character Adelaide, as well as her creepy double.

Here's my review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/03/we-have-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-us/

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I'm afraid I didn't get into this one. It was weird reading a review that said the humour didn't *detract* from the horror but felt like a natural response to it, since I know that I certainly felt, as I was watching the film, that the humour detracted from the horror (which was never all *that* horrifying to begin with). And the way other people in the theatre were laughing at those points made me think that they hadn't been sold on the horror either -- but I could have been misreading that.

Frankly, I find myself wondering how long it will be before we dub Jordan Peele the new M. Night Shyamalan -- and not in a good way.

Lupita Nyong'o is definitely superb, though, no question about that.

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I hope you're wrong with the Shyamalan comment - my impression is that Peele has far more ideas up his sleeve, and is far smarter and more creative overall.  I still think Rod Serling is a fairer comparison, but he may prove better than that.

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Walter Chaw has already compared Peele to Shyamalan and compared Us to The Happening.

I liked Us quite a bit more than Walter did, and I think he misinterpreted one scene he references, but the rest of his critiques certainly have merit.

Honestly, the final "twist" was the first thought that occurred to me as soon as the child Adelaide met her doppelgänger, but I hoped it wouldn't be the case, because it was obvious, and there were too many scenes it undermined the horror. That it makes no difference I suppose underscores Peele's theme of how capitalism pits us against one another, and if you escape the lower class you then turn against them, but I now can't imagine the horror working at all on a second viewing. I thought each individual scene was excellently acted and directed, but as a whole, it definitely felt less than the sum of its parts for me.

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Andrew wrote:
I still think Rod Serling is a fairer comparison, but he may prove better than that.

That's fascinating, because some of Shyamalan's movies were basically Twilight Zone rip-offs themselves. (And now Peele is actually rebooting The Twilight Zone...)

Evan C wrote:
Walter Chaw has already compared Peele to Shyamalan and compared Us to The Happening.

Interesting! Though I was thinking more of Signs-era Shyamalan, because Signs was a huge box-office and critical hit that I thought was kinda stupid, so the fact that I'm out of step with the majority on Us was reminding me of how I was once out of step with the majority on Signs. By The Happening, pretty much everyone had soured on Shyamalan.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Finally saw this last evening on Easter Sunday, and perhaps this is an Easter film: there are bunnies and the Bible and people coming out of underground tomb-like locations, not to mention Cartesian mind/body dualism and the explicit reference to God's will for salvation, so....

I'm still formulating my thoughts on this, but the film it reminded me of most, of all things, is Ridley Scott's Prometheus: an ambitious, go-for-broke cinematic mess of an original idea that I found really great when thinking about its individual parts--performances, the final underground confrontation, score/soundtrack, humor--but feel it really doesn't hold together as a narrative or conceptual whole. Its symbolism and philosophy is pretty incoherent once you start thinking about it, and the final "twist" was so obvious from the start as to feel like a bit of a cheat. It's the kind of film I'd rate 5/10, but still click the "Like" button on Letterboxd and the "Fresh" rating for Rotten Tomatoes.

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