‘Us’ is the latest film written and directed by Jordan Peele. Making a name for himself with the 2017 thriller ‘Get Out’, Peele understands the mechanics of jangling nerves. ‘Us’ should have several on tenterhooks with its visceral horrifics something out of ‘The Twilight Zone’ TV series. Those who enjoy being scared should be pleased with others cautioned about the spooky delights on display.

Gabe (Winston Duke) and Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) are a married couple who take their children to a holiday beach house. Hoping for a tranquil time away, their idle is disrupted when a group of sinister strangers arrive. Looking exactly like them and referring themselves as ‘The Tethered’, their presence threatens their lives. Unending peril and terror looms unless the family finds a way to crawl out from under the wicked interloper’s clutches.

Like any good horror movie, ‘Us’ works on several levels. It can be seen as an allegory on the endless ‘us vs. them’ debate with the have and have nots battling against each other for supremacy. Or ‘Us’ can be taken as a straight up thrill-ride with plenty of scary scenes to keep viewers on edge. As with ‘Get Out’, Peele injects a healthy dose of satirical humour amongst the spooks which never takes away from the film’s power.

‘Us’ also subverts what one expects from a horror movie. It isn’t a constant blood-bath like so many, but plays on audience expectations of said carnage. Less is always definitely more with ‘Us’ thriving on its minimalistic blood-shed to deliver messages and thrills. The cast all do a fine job in conveying their character’s angst with the foreboding atmosphere kept until the conclusion’s unexpected sting.

Peele shows much talent in the thriller/horror genre dragging it out of its gory ghetto. Hopefully more in this style will surface to bring in more fans. In the meantime those wanting a smartly written fright-fest should find much to ghoulishly enjoy as things go bump in the night.

Rating out of 10: 7

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