There’s no more alienating and isolating experience than watching a canonical masterpiece and feeling that it’s... just pretty good. I tried as hard as I could for three hours and I can admire much of it, but it just never really grabbed me. These are philistine hours here on Letterboxd dot com.
This movie is a full hour longer than THE WICKER MAN. That’s it; that’s my review......
Okay, I actually have more to say. Ari Aster remains a strong creator of provocative, disgusting imagery, but the extent to which those images cohere into a satisfying film is... in question. The sexual politics of this film might charitably described as confused and the attempts at humor most people are seeing get subsumed by an unwavering, unmodulated tone of dread that becomes tiresome. This endless dread march produces a film that, like HEREDITARY, is easy to admire moment to moment, but hard to love in totality.
Those who dismiss something this kooky, this hairbrained, this out of step with the expectations of franchise filmmaking, and this personal do so at their own risk. It certainly doesn’t all work, and the third act is some truly wild stuff that’s going to alienate many (most?) viewers, but I for one am glad I got to see M. Night cap off his weird Frankenstein of a franchise.
All claims of Jordan Peele being the new Spielberg are bunk, BUT Us confirmed to me that his approach to horror is not dissimilar to that of Jaws. It’s clean and playful, a lot of very clear cause and effect in his set pieces and with a tone that delights in thrilling instead of punishing. The central conceit of Us is a lot less clear in its metaphorical underpinnings than Get Out, which makes the premise strain somewhat down the stretch, but Peele’s gifts for set piece construction and tonal balancing shine here, and Lupita is an absolute force. Long story short, Peele’s the real deal.