Let me just say that I do not consider Jordan Peele to be the new rebel of horror. I feel that by being held up as the biggest thing in the scene, he has found himself in a difficult position, where when you see his movie, instead of your first thought being ‘Was I entertained?’, you are supposed to dig into your sociology textbook and break down everything that happens as to what it means in the grand old scheme of 2019’s America. Don’t get me wrong, Peele is a clever writer and director and the scene is brighter with him in it, but when you look at the shit that Eli Roth got for referencing the classic Italian movies in his works, compared to Peele’s free run at essentially the same thing, except that Peele has yet to make a Cabin Fever or a Hostel/Hostel II, well, Hollywood is strange.
That is not to say that I did not enjoy ‘Us’, in fact I saw it a week and a half ago and have been thinking about it ever since, so it obviously did some things right, I like my films to make me think but I am also not afraid to pull movies up on things they do that seems cookee cutter or just what we have seen before.
Firstly, I think this is a better movie than Get Out, but my faults with that are the same as my faults with this, it seems to be a collection of things we have seen done before, often better, but because it is made by a new fave auteur, it sounds like you are slagging it when you are just saying the obvious. So here we go…As a massive fan of The Purge quadrilogy, there is a lot here that is simply Xeroxed from the home invasion classics. But I never felt as uncomfortable with Peele’s take on home invasion tropes, it seemed like someone saying “Look! I’ve seen that movie too!” and then reproducing it. Sure in the slasher genre, there are many many repeat tries which I love so it is fine, the home invasion stuff here is interesting, but nothing revolutionary. Elisabeth Moss is an absolute joy, but to hear people calling for Oscars here is ridiculous, in the old days this would be a straight to video version of something bigger. Fun to watch at home but nothing too new.
After the home invasion cliches, there is much much more going on which lifts the film out of the average, but it is best for you to see it rather than me to spoil it all here. Again, it just feels like an extended Twilight Zone episode so it is pertinent that Peele is now the host of that series and no doubt he will be taking notes for his next picture.
So I saw The Purge, I saw Watcher In The Woods, I saw a little Fight Club, all things I love and so I also have a lot of time for Peele’s ‘Us’ and the fact I am still thinking about it is credit to what Peele was trying to say and how he is an interesting film maker in the genre. No joke, I still prefer Keanu, before we were being TOLD what to think about an undoubted talent.