Comedian turned filmmaker Jordan Peele shocked audiences in 2017 when he released his writer/director debut Get Out. To say the film was a success is an understatement, with the movie grossing over $255 million worldwide (on a $4.5 Million budget), has a 99% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and Peele won an Academy Award for his efforts with a Best Original Screenplay win. I’m a huge fan of Get Out and it’s one of my favourite films from the past couple of years. Expectations heading in were high, what could he possibly bring us for his sophomore effort?

Well Us is a thoroughly entertaining, stylish and often violent horror film, but due to a surprisingly weak script and lack of scares, it never reaches its full potential and will not be remembered in the same breath as Get Out. A solid follow-up, but not a home run.

The story centres on one family’s get away holiday which turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorise them in their own home.

Our two leads are Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (both of which starred in the recent superhero behemoth Black Panther) and they are superb. Whilst Duke’s character provides the majority of the film’s humour with mixed results, he plays goofball dad effortlessly and nicely balances the role of helpless but heroic. Nyong’o is even better, a believable but badass mother and also terrifying as her doppelgänger (although her voice does make her hard to understand at times).

Peele sustains a creepy vibe throughout and his directing is slick and precise. His use of music here is another highlight, with brilliant use of pre-existing music (particularly a classic NWA track) and a stunning original score from returning Get Out composer Michael Abels, really adding to the overall experience.

Sadly, it’s Peele’s script which is the problem here. After a slow first 30 and some flat jokes, the film does pick up and begin to get more unnerving and compelling viewing, but it can never maintain any sort of momentum. There are so many fantastic scenes throughout its 110 minute run time, but it always seems to go one step forward then two steps back. It’s never as frightening or as tense as it should’ve been either, and Peele’s script is sometimes a little too weird or ambitious without actually being scary.

It’s hard to talk about the film in too much detail without entering spoiler territory, but I liked the scale of the film and was glad to see it was not just a home-invasion horror. The finale will certainly divide opinions too, as some ideas are executed better than others.

Us certainly demands a second viewing. Just like with Get Out, repeat viewers should be rewarded with new clues and hints, as Peele does foreshadowing extremely well. Despite the problems I had with the movie, Us stayed with me long after the film had finished and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. No matter how you will feel about this movie, this is further proof that Peele is one of the most exciting and interesting filmmakers working today.

Verdict: Unsettling but also uneven, Us is a stylish and violent horror film but Peele’s script is not as strong as his direction.

Best Moment: The Tyler Family are attacked at their house.

Rating: 7/10