Jordan Peele’s mind is something else, ya’ll.
It was the afternoon of December 18, 2018 when a select few journalists convened at the Universal Studios lot to watch the trailer for one of the most anticipated follow-up feature films ever: Peele’s new horror flick, Us.
As provided to Entertainment Weekly:
The story is set in the present day and follows Adelaide and Gabe Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) as they take their kids to Adelaide’s old childhood beachside home in Northern California for the summer. After a day at the beach with the Tyler family (which includes Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker), Adelaide—who’s haunted by a lingering trauma from her past—becomes increasingly more paranoid that something bad will happen to her family. As night falls, the Wilsons see four figures holding hands and standing silently at the bottom of their driveway… (Did shivers just go up your spine?)
With an anxious smile, the Academy Award-winning writer shuffled onto the stage at the intimate venue and confessed his desire to create a horror film with “black people as the center”—that’s not necessarily about race.
Overall all, he hoped we’d enjoy his “eerie, creepy ass film.”
Then, the lights went down.
As a haunting version of “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz slithers into our ears, we join a happy black family on their way to a much-needed getaway, trading goodnatured banter. Suddenly, shit gets real. A masked family creepily crawls their way into their cabin, and suddenly we realize the reason behind the titular choice: Us. The domestic terrorists are us. We are our own worst enemies. Shit.
As the lights resumed, Peele scurried onto stage, dropped an invisible mic, and scurried off. After I screamed, “what the fuck?!” and processed the array of emotions with my peers, we all had the same sentiment: How the fuck are we supposed to go on with our lives after watching that? So, we watched it again.
So many questions; so much need for answers:
1. The trailer’s soundtrack choice has to be intentional, right? I have a feeling Peele doesn’t do anything “just because.” I got five on it. There are five main characters here. The father, mother, son, daughter and the random white lady (I already don’t trust her for reasons).
(Editor’s note: Given Peele’s choice to open Get Out with “Run, Rabbit, Run,” I’m going to say it’s hella intentional.)
2. The “monster”—or monsters?—is referred to as “The Tethered.” The weapon of choice is a pair of scissors, which is especially sadistic. What are they cutting themselves from? Or cutting the family from?
3. How ready am I to watch Nyong’o act her ass off again (ya’ll saw her in 12 Years A Slave)? One quick and sinister murmuring shot was very reminiscent of Betty Gabriel’s “no, no, no, no, no, no” scene in Get Out. Plus, we get more of Peele’s now-patented medium close-up shots of a character evoking extreme emotion (usually shock.)
4. There’s going to be a point where a member of the copy Wilsons ends up tricking one of the members of the “real” Wilsons, isn’t there?
5. What’s the twist? There has to be a deeper twist, right? Lawd. I’m ready—but I’m not.
Us is scheduled to tether its audience into theater seats on March 15, 2019.
You joining the untethering or nah? Who all gon’ be there?