Rafael "Parker!!" Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
Finally, after an unnecessarily lengthy wait, I was able to watch the latest picture by Jordan Peele, a director who has built a reputation for himself as like others such as Shyamalan, Eggers and Aster, and even Tarantino, to name a few, he tends to have these big ideas that aren't precisely original but in some ways strive to reinvent the wheel, concepts that people like me can't wait to see unfold. Occasionally the results are amazing, and sometimes they leave much to be desired.
In the case of this picture, I'd say it's somewhere in the middle. The somewhat "deconstruction" of the alien subgenre is the most interesting part, which had me hooked nearly until very end. Unfortunately, I believe that Peele's ambition caused this pretty simple premise to get convoluted, and it, like the entire monkey stuff, leads nowhere, which was rather frustrating and that third act ran for too long (it didn't help I had the need.... The need to pee). However, the humour and technical features, such as Hoyte's simple but stunning cinematography, make it all so appealing to watch, with the colors and textures giving it an almost A24 vibe, i.e. not something you'd expect from a film in the genre. And Abel's music isn't as memorable as it was in Us, but it's still great. It is, for the most part, less of a score and more like ambient music and sound track (with a few exceptions) that helps hightening the tension.
The performances are for the most part really good, especially Keke Palmer, who I am glad she's getting the chance to shine she deserves. From True Jackson, where she exhibited much of the attitude and acting talents he displays here superbly, she steals the spotlight from the outset with her boundless energy. Brandon also manages to impress. Wincott's voice alone compels you to pay attention to him. Daniel is fine, but making him a stoic figure was arguably the biggest fault of the film, since it undercuts all the tension out of the movie in several key scenes where it was crucial.
Ultimately, Many have linked this film to Jaws and Signs, but I couldn't spot any similarities. Both films are far better at building up and sustaining the tension, and they are full of memorable moments. I also dislike the film's suggestive approach for the most part, as if it cuts away frequently as things are going to become nasty. Show me the gnarly! Also, without giving too much away, the design of the creature looked like a damn Pokémon, it was too goofy, and the third act ran for too long.
That aside, it's still an enjoyable film anchored by some great performances, good ideas, and great technical work. I might watch it again.