Jordan Peele’s Latest Film was Made for “Us”

The 1980s horror movie “C.H.U.D.” where subterranean monsters are created by a nuclear spill that effected the homeless, is given a small nod in Jordan Peele’s horror film “Us”. The film brought interesting topics to the table that will have viewers overthinking every person they see as they walk out of the theater, shining a light on existential horror. Using a $20 million budget (compared to his previous film “Get Out” which was a meager $4.5 million), Peele was able to tackle the complex and “rabbit hole” nature of the homelessness epidemic in America and how we treat our fellow Americans.

The story, like “Get Out”, requires the audience to suspend their disbelief and it works perfectly. A lot of effort can be visible in the creation of the film if the audience pays careful attention to every piece of dialogue or anything that is given even the faintest glimpse on the screen. An example is the reoccurrence of the time 11:11, which not only is a reference to a biblical verse mentioned in the story as a plot device, it is visible in nearly all of the scenes. The significance of the verse implicates to eagle-eyed audience members that there was a warning before the eventual destruction of the characters’s lives adding more and more depth to the story.

Another one of these plot points that can bring to light a greater understanding of the story is the “Hands Across America” event. The event was organized by music manager Ken Kragen to raise money and awareness for the homeless by uniting citizens hand-in-hand across America for a price. Unlike the success that the “tethered” in the movie have in linking across America, the real version managed to raise $34 million, but only distributed $15 million towards helping the homeless according to The New York Times. Given only these details, those who have watched the movie can begin to spur ideas such as, “Wait, are the tethered supposed to be the homeless?” which is where Peele’s masterpiece begins to take its true form. The film begs to be investigated deeper and the verse Jeremiah 11:11 is the key to undergoing that rabbit hole of information, even the discourse that takes place once the theater doors open is enough to come to different conclusions.

Although not as simple to understand, nor as applicable to most as “Get Out” was, the film was still entertaining and provided a good scare for the general audience. Even without diving too deep into the metaphors Peele creates a movie that is almost as entertaining and funny at times as his previous. The beginning of the film was a bit drawn out and slow, but, as with “Get Out”, the velocity of action began to pick up and shock many in the theater as audible gasps and cheers could be heard. Again, Peele’s work is not only thought-provoking but also entertaining and in certain situations quite hilarious since Peele creates such a scenario that allows the audience to place themselves in the shoes of the protagonists. A lot of the laughs come from how surreal and crazy the film can be in certain scenes.

All in all, the film continues to be an interesting experience even after viewing and propels debate since it is painfully obvious that everything has a meaning in this film and is not placed just to complement the beautiful cinematography of each scene.