Us ★★★½

Why do all horror movies feel they need to so obviously flash their horror credentials and tributes on screen? In the first few minutes, this movie goes out of its way to show references to CHUD, the Goonies, Thriller, and The Shining (the overhead driving shots, the wordless screaming, the counselor scenes). The first few were more blatant, but The Shining was more subtle. Maybe.

One of my co-workers was complaining about how this wasn’t a real horror movie. I’m not sure. Feels like a “no true Scotsman” argument to me. The girls sitting next to me in the crowded theater were plenty scared and jumpy.

The soundtrack was very good. The acting was good. I think the visuals were probably pretty good. I think the images will stick with me over time. But over the last few months, at this particular movie theater, on multiple screens, I’ve seen a few movies that have just had awful projection issues. The text was slightly out of focus or, in this case, the screen was too dark. Since there are so many nighttime scenes, I think this put a damper on my viewing experience slightly. By the time I can tell it’s a problem, it’s too late. I’ve been afraid to speak up, and I can’t find any confirmation out there about anyone else acknowledging it’s even a possibility except for Christopher Nolan. So there’s that.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the movie overall and the ending especially. I can see why a lot of other people feel this way. I guess I have to read about it to figure out what happened, because like if the ending meant what I think it meant, why would that even matter? I mean I guess with the dualities trope, we’re stick with good guys and bad guys, right? Instead of just two people doing the best they can? And even before getting to any sort of deeper metaphors of class and welfare, why is violence necessary? Like literally there were so many points I was like “Oh I think they’re about to see each other as humans now instead of this contrived things where both sides need to fight each other because of some mysterious third party... ah shit.

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