Us ★★½

Us did not give me the excitations.

I have to preface what will be an outlier review by noting how it took me a whole year to see Get Out... and I realized what a fool I was at Get Out was great. At least I got to see the film theatrically with a big crowd. I did not want to make the same mistake twice with Us; in addition, I know some people who were REALLY looking forward to it, one of them even analyzing the trailer as if they were going to do a half hour YouTube video about it! Ironically, I know someone else who actually does such things on YouTube, but he's not a Letterboxd member, and neither was the person who analyzed the trailer for this film. I'll mention that I haven't talked to them about this movie (and I have no idea if they've seen it yet) but their hypothesis in general was right.

While I avoided reading the reviews for this movie I saw on Letterboxd and elsewhere, I still noticed all the high scores so my expectations were pretty high by the time I viewed this last night. Boy did I ever end up disappointed. It was not my opinion at first as the first half of the movie happened and I saw what was presented in the trailer, which was a family with a decent amount of money was vacationing in California when they encounter their doppelgangers one night. There were frightening moments, a great musical score from Michael Abels, and the cast as a whole does a swell job, especially Lupita Nyong'o. I was concerned when I heard her doppelganger speak and suddenly Christian Bale's Batman voice did not sound so bad after all but that could have just been me.

Then the second half began and the plot expanded... and my interest & enjoyment took a nosedive. I won't give any spoilers; instead I'll mention that I understand this is supposed to be some sort of allegory where the interpretation is up in the air (I've seen some interesting theories and heck, maybe several different interpretations are all correct) but on a surface level, the story doesn't make any damn sense and it just comes off as laughable. This was a case of “please movie, tell me LESS.” I grew more and more frustrated with how the plot did not hold up to any scrutiny and the crowd I saw this with seemed to think the same thing. The final shot of the film is an extended one, yet plenty of people left before that was completed and the end credits began. They were also like me and laughed AT the movie rather than WITH it. To me at least it was not as funny as Get Out and the only times I chuckled was at how preposterous the story was and I have a sinking feeling that cretins will start imitating the noises that the doppelgangers made out in public; those moments definitely got the most derisive chuckles from the crowd. Now, perhaps I shouldn't measure things by how these random people acted at a movie theatre where beforehand I found a SOILED DIAPER lying on the ground in the men's room, but... I will say that I did not discover Tim Heidecker had a supporting role until this past afternoon; thankfully the humor here wasn't the alleged “humor” of the Tim & Eric Show.

I am glad that most people love the movie and they weren't let down after their screening concluded; I wish I could have felt the same way. Saying this will be controversial but I'd rather not watch the film again to notice various details that some picked up on right away, or to see if this plays differently now that I realize what sort of motion picture this was. For me it is not worth the time or effort to try and unpack Us. I am crestfallen I did not enjoy the film far more, as it does look great and it was put together quite well. It was just the story that let me down; admitted, the plot of Get Out is far-fetched too although at least it was obvious social commentary and the scenario is not utter science fiction and magic like Us was. Maybe I should just skip the flicks that are classified pretentiously as “heightened horror” as I also found the likes of It Follows, Hereditary and The Babadook to be massively overrated.

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