Us

Us ★★★

Man, I really wanted to like this more.

I can (and did to my friends) bitch about a lot of artistic decisions and executions, scenes and/or extended sequences that felt extraneous, and the fact that Jordan Peele is simply a better comedy director than he is a horror director, but I know what you’re gonna say to all that.

What about all the thematic stuff?

First of all, I hate hate hate when filmmakers slap a Bible verse into their films and hope to absorb its thematic depth. There were some incredibly on-the-nose lines “We’re Americans,” and some over-explaining eliminated a reasonable amount of room for interpretation (some argue it nailed a difficult balance, I would disagree). More importantly than any of that, though: I’m of the firm belief that no matter what the intended messages and subtext of a work are, the work has to be in strong command of the rhetorical devices at hand (in this case, cinematic language/filmmaking tools, whatever you want to call it) in order to deliver/instill those messages and subtexts, and this just didn’t quite do that for me. I guess that’s why I didn’t love Annihilation either.

Of course, this is my initial impression, I’m sure I’ll see it at least once more in theaters to try and get a better interpretation, see if I can forgive more of my grievances, but until then, I didn’t love it.