This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
TJP’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
As my takes get colder they feel like they are evolving. Let me know what you think.
My Sunday night take is a social media parable. The allegory goes like this, the shadow people are the social media avatars you present yourself to others on social networks. This fits nicely with Gabe’s extremely relatable “keeping up with the Tylers” comical progression through the first act. In the lore of Hollywood it was said that as an actor, Jordan Peele was so offput by getting offered the role of poo in the Emoji Movie that he said he was quitting acting. While not social media the emoji avatars could have deepened the underlying meaning of the shadow people.
In this story, Adelaide loses herself to her shadow self/social media avatar. The tethered nature of the shadow selves works as Adelaide (who at the time we think is Red) describes the shadow people as “soulless” copies of the above ground humans. As the avatars go through the motions of their human counterpart's lives without knowledge or control of what they do just their horror lies in the knowledge that they have no control or understanding of what they do or why they do it.
But Adelaide is a real human in a world of soulless avatars so the continuum is thrown out of balance. She goes mad, now controlled by the thing she had at first not known about but has become painfully aware of the lot in an avatar's so-called-life. Think about the 4 Chan ramblings of any American mass shooter as an example of humans who have lost themselves to their social media avatars only interacting with other soulless avatars. Exclusively living alongside other soulless avatars.
The idea of harmful nostalgia is echoed as something positive from the past (Hands Across America) is subverted into a large-scale mass stabbing.
So possibly the most important fable about the American mass shoot epidemic can fly in under the radar as it avoids the pitfalls most analogies fall into. No mention or hint of guns. No violence across racial lines. No soapbox since the message is buried so deep that the intended audience might never consciously connect the message being delivered. But if it takes 2000 years to get, is it the best parable or is it the worst?