Us ★★★

Peele’s ambitious welding of social commentary and horror movie thrills buckles under the weight of trying to tie its sprawling metaphors to a plot that becomes increasingly implausible. But rather than letting the implausiblity stand for itself as the kind of inexplicable horror that drove the works that influenced this movie (Twilight Zone, The Birds, The Strangers), Peele unwisely seeks to dole out answers in a third act increasingly burdened by clumsy exposition that only serves to highlight the weaknesses of the story.

It’s a shame, because on a purely visceral and aesthetic level this is a step up from Get Out, which lacked the kind of climactic thrills that make up a good portion of this movie, where threats constantly lurk in the back of the frame and Peele orchestrates simultaneous suspense sequences that thrill on both the tangible threat of imminent harm, and the existential dread of wondering why this is happening. But then the thrills end and the explaining begins, which dampens all the scares and cheapens the dread.

Hopefully next time around Peele won’t feel the need to satisfy audiences with everything they’ve come to expect from his movies, denying tidy answers and easy laughs.

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Graham liked this review