This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Nick J’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.
If the thought of the twist ending did not come across your mind minutes after the house of mirrors scene, please check your pulse. If you did not see a red flag when Jason's silly spooky Chewbacca mask was never acknowledged by anyone normal in the film, please check your pulse. If you did not laugh once at any of the jokes...you're good, don't bother checking your pulse, they weren't funny.
Once crazy mom Red/Real Adelaide/Liquid Snake opens her mouth and it's a grating, strange pattern of speech that immediately gets old, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that this movie had set out to annoy me. It never picked up and got good for me. "Fuck Tha Police" is not good to build tension for a confrontation. Bunnies are not scary, they are good hoppy boys. That main theme is just not fitting and it's too fucking loud. The family feels so cookie cutter and boring, I've seen them already done to death with nothing new to the table. The villains are comical who look like tryhards poorly imitating Jack Torrance, Norman Bates, and Ledger's Joker and draw no sympathy. They come across like the "Truth or Dare" villains and that is not a good comparison. I'm supposed to feel bad for these crazies who stab people, like the hobos I encounter outside of work? Fuck you movie. It feels like a hack wrote and directed a movie trying to be on the level of "The Shining" without any idea of why that movie hurt people with 2019 producer man going "insert more shit for the popcorn gobbling teens." It has some message about religion or communism or race or punk music I'm still wrapping my head around, but who cares when thematic relevance overtakes narrative clarity and creativity. At the end of the day, a movie needs to be a good story. This wasn't. It was the funeral procession of the horror genre, now that an idea as enthralling as the premise of "Us" is utter shit because it tries to appeal to the crowd that thinks "Bird Box" and "IT" were high art. It leans too much into the worse cliches of horror (normal protagonists, overreliance on "Rofl, aren't these bad guys crazy? Are you scared yet?") and removes or subverts the best parts (music to build tension, proper mise-en-scene). I have completely lost my confidence in Jordan Peele's directing. Off to the trash bin with Razor Ramon and a-ha, who only had one great piece of work to their names.
As for positives, Jesus Christ, cinematography is fantastic, this movie looks gorgeous. Lots of creative shots, big props to the boat scene with Gabe and Tex. I love the trail of bodies strewn across daylit scenes, it's such a chilling visual and, besides Michael Jackson, probably the scariest thing in this film. Lupita Nyong'o's performance as good mom Fake Adelaide/Real Red/Solid Snake is spectacular, with fantastic monologues, great facial expressions, and bone-chilling bouts of emotion. Not quite Oscar-worthy because crazy mom was the worst part of the film (perfectly balanced, as all things should be, I guess), but definitely enough to put her on my radar. Evan Alex's Pluto is neat too, easily the most interesting, best design, and best performed out of the shitty Red Jumpsuit Apparatus squad.
Maybe it needs a rewatch...but I really, really don't want to...leave me be with my "One Piece" binge-watching. Thriller Bark is scarier than this garbage.