Thursday, April 18, 2019

Y'all scared of a family?

In the not too distant past, I caught a compelling story on NPR about everyone's favorite group of people - the top 1%. Seems these ultra-rich dudes were looking around at the post-election state of affairs and collectively deciding they needed to get ready. Like really ready.

For what you ask? While some would say the apocalypse, others might call it the revolution, but however you want to phrase it, the idea was simple: if the economy collapsed the extremely wealthy would be targets. The less fortunate (aka the other ninety-nine percent) would come after them and it wouldn't be pretty. Their solution? High-end luxury fortifications.

Deep underground.

While Us might actually be an allegory about an entirely different topic, I couldn't help but think that somewhere along the way Jordan Peele had heard or read a similar story. Maybe it was before he wrote the script, or maybe it was while buying his own abandoned missile silo, either way I'd like to think this disheartening example of the separation between rich and poor was on his mind. I mean, after reading the bible and watching tons of classic horror films, that is...

After getting lost as a young girl on the boardwalk of Santa Cruz, we meet a now grown-up version of Adelaide Wilson (the impeccable Lupita Nyong'o), quietly dreading a return visit with her well-meaning husband and two kids. She's beyond hesitant, but agrees to go along as long as the entire family returns before nightfall. Her husband agrees, and after a slightly harrowing moment where they couldn't find their young son Jason,  they make it back to the house in one piece. Phew.

Turns out, that relief was incredibly short-lived, as four strangers show up outside of the vacation home and do the worst thing imaginable. They just sort of...stand there.

Oh, f--k me.

Eventually, the creepy-ass quartet break formation and enter the house, seemingly to hold the family hostage. Or something. While we all might've hoped that this was a simple home invasion/robbery-type situation, these red jump-suited motherf--kers have something far more nefarious planned. Oh, and further cranking the 'f--k this shit' meter to eleven? Each of the attackers is an identical version of the captive family. Well, almost. They're actually kind of a jacked up version of each. To quote another Peele film, No no no no no no no no no.... to all of this.

You're gonna see that f--ker on the right everywhere next Halloween...
To say any more would ruin the fun, so my advice, if you haven't already seen Us, is to catch this f--ker on the biggest screen possible with the largest crowd you can handle. I've already seen it twice (a rarity) and found the second go-round even more entertaining than the first. Besides, after you check it out, you can, with absolute certainty, come back here and tell me my theory is complete horseshit. And when you do, I'll stand on your car until you say something to me, and then I calmly climb down and stab you in the neck with a pair of shiny scissors.

Speaking of things that don't sound all that fun and are likely illegal, here are the Yays and Boos. For Us. No, really. We're the only two who are going to read them.

No lie, Winston Duke?
Officially my favorite Movie Dad of all time.
  • Hands Across America? Oh, The Eighties. You so crazy.
  • Was a little bit of an It homage there with the candy apple? Nice.
  • Yo, that title music was the right kind of an old-school f--k this jam. Any time we get a little choir-y in horror, I'm out. But in, too...if that makes sense.
  • Is Jeremiah 11:11 shown because of what it stands for, or because the eleven-eleven symbol...or both?
  • I've already mentioned that I love Duke as the Dad, but can we also our hands together for the way he lays out in the bed? While I truly love the move, and can totally relate, my real question here? Has that ever worked?
  • The fact that a hide-a-key was called some white shit still makes me laugh.
  • We're Americans. F--k me.
  • Dude, the Get off my car Guy was kind of my hero. Like, he wasn't even mad, just really, really disappointed. (that's how I feel on weekdays, 7:45 to 2:45, but fortunately no one has stabbed me [yet?])
  • I'm not sure if it's a repeat nominee or not, but Good Vibrations, especially in that context? Guaranteed lock into the Soundtrack Hall of Fame. And we don't even have to hold a vote.
  • Same goes for F--k Tha Police. Hell, any N.W.A song, while we're at it (though, if I may, I think Every Breath You Take by The Police would have played waaaay better there)
  • What are Micro Machines? What's Home Alone? F--king brilliant!
  • Okay, any time someone mentions their kill count in a movie, just know that something special is happening. Especially when parents are basically fact-checking it against their own...
  • Ooooh, that shot down the escalator might have been my favorite of the entire film. Lupita doing just about anything is good, but framed like that? Jackpot.
  • And finally, say whatever you want about Us, but you have to admit it's some top-shelf mainstream horror. Both times I've gone, the theater was absolutely jam-packed, and that has to be a good thing for everyone. I think the level of expectations surrounding Peele after Get Out [review] were totally bananas, and the dude straight up delivered. How he tops his first two seems like a daunting task, but no matter what happens next, I'm there. Pretty sure you will be, too.
Hey, look. It's the main character of all my nightmares.
  • How does the owl get be both times? Ridiculous!
  • These white chicks are the worst. I actually found the tethered versions to be much more agreeable. 
  • I'm going to assume my own son knows this, but, uh, that dude at the beach? That's the shit we walk AWAY from. Not toward.
  • Symbolic or not, f--k all these damn scissors. Can't you bitches use some chainsaws or some shit?
  • Okay, first showing, three people literally sprinted out of the theater - mid movie. Second showing? Someone brought a kid. A little kid. And that f--ker had a creepy little kid laugh. The only thing worse? Is if it wasn't a kid, and that noise was coming out of an adult. *runs*
  • While Abraham seemed like a dude I would invite to a cookout, the shadow version of the sister needs to stay in the car. *shudder* The little puppy-brother's fine, as long as he keeps his damn mouth shut.
  • Who checks? I don't care what maternal feelings you have, you don't get out of the car. And you don't check. Everyone knows that.
  • So, I'm still not sure about the underground school full of bunnies. Not only do I have some questions, I'm also pissed that those classrooms seem nicer than mine.
  • And finally, the guy next to me.  When the credits roll, he loudly announces, That movie was dumb as shit. My man, you were on your phone the whole f--king time. Something was dumb as shit, but, uh, it wasn't the film.
For the first time in forever, I actually sniffed out the twist coming fairly early on. I think it adds so much to the theme of the film, it makes me almost giddy just thinking about it. Well, assuming I'm even close to what Peele had in mind that is (I still think it's about poverty and income inequality, dammit).

If I'm right, or even just in the ballpark, that means we were rooting for the wrong person the entire time, right? Because the real hero was one of us. Just deep underground.

(Next to the Silicon Valley CEOs and the co-founder of Twitch.)


  1. Fuck that guy on his phone. I hate when people do that.

    I would like to give this a second watch. I enjoyed it, even though I had a lot of questions afterwards.

    1. F--k him and his lady-friend. Like, I get it - you can't be bothered paying attention for more than hour...but maybe we just turn the brightness down a notch? Take it off searchlight mode, perhaps.

      Gimme those questions! I have answers. Bad ones.

  2. In test screening version the song was "Roxanne" by The Police, allegedly :) I liked the acting but that story was a bigger mess than RF usually is and I'm pretty sure I spend more time writing and polishing that than Peele did on that story

    1. Roxanne would have been pretty good, but Every Breath You Take would have been, other than obvious, soooo good.

      No no no no no no....the story is not a mess! I refuse to accept this! That motherf--ker is sooo good. See it again, perhaps?

  3. I will but it will only create more problems, if I noticed the plot holes the first time around, the second time around I will notice even more

    1. No, it will provide absolute clarity. Or not. I'm not sure and my bad for not responding a month ago!

  4. The guy next to me when I saw Assassin’s Creed was on in phone all the time. And not only the screen was super bright and annoying, he also complained about the movie being bad. Wtf dude you didn’t even watch the damn thing!

    Anyways, I loved this movie but I still have so many questions and didn’t get so many things... I really need to rewatch it.

    1. Why go? Why even bother? They know a movie theater is like a giant phone, right? And of course his brightness was all the way up, I mean, if you're going to be a clueless dick, might as well go all in.

      You have to re-watch it! I think all your questions will be answered.