Around November time each year, BuzzFeed will start to publish lots of posts titled things like ‘How Many Of These Box Office Hits Have You Seen?’ and Daisy and I will roll up our sleeves excitedly, ready to obviously score 100 and be the high achievers we always knew we could be.
Predictably, what actually happens is we get about 40/100 and drop immediately into a shame spiral of IF WE CAN’T EVEN GET A HIGH SCORE ON THIS BUZZFEED QUIZ THEN WHAT THE HELL IS THE POINT OF OUR LIVES? It’s a vicious and dramatic cycle.
There’s always a root cause to this failure: horror films. Shit loads of them come out year on year, but because we’re not Mark Kermode or teenagers on a date (or actually just teenagers in general) we don’t really go and see them. Also because: they’re normally quite shit. Maybe that’s a horrible generalisation, but I reckon there’s a reason modern horror films don’t win many Oscars.
There’s probably 2 exceptions to that sweeping statement: Hereditary, and Get Out. We went into Get Out nervous, with Daisy’s signature scarf to scream into present, but left pleasantly surprised, entertained and a great level of spooked that didn’t leave permanent damage. Here’s looking at you, The Woman in Black.
Long story short, I’m excited to see Us. It’s getting majorly hyped up and I am nothing if not a huge victim of marketing. It’s the second film from Jordan Peele after the huge success of Get Out, and it tells the story of a family of four whose shit turns bad when their 4 doppelgangers turn up in the driveway of their beach house and start fucking shit up.
Oh it is scary. Luke did a HILARIOUS thing when we got home of jumping out on me and I screamed and then was angrier than the time he ate one of my chicken nuggets without asking when I had cooked the very specific amount that I wanted to eat.
It really spooked me. I think the music is mainly to blame – you can tell something awful is going to happen and that suspense is so brilliant and so horrible at the same time. I kept looking at the screen with only one eye so that I could only get half the amount of scared, which is just pure common sense.
It’s nothing new to say that Lupita Nyong’o is amazing in both the roles she plays – the whole cast is playing 2 characters in the same film and they all feel so different, like I could’ve happily believed they were lookalike stand in actors. As a demonstration of what real acting ability looks like, you can’t fault this.
It all just worked perfectly for me as a film – I laughed when I was supposed to, I jumped when I was supposed to, and the 2 hour running time felt like 30 minutes. Jordan Peele’s got me right where he wants me and I am totally OK with that.
I had to read several articles when I got home because I left the cinema going WHAT HAPPENED?!? and flapping my hands a lot. But I don’t even mind that – it was fun being able to theorise on the tube home, and over the next few days find out more and more detail and flesh out our understanding of all the different layers and details we missed. How many films can stretch out your enjoyment of them that much?
The worst thing about the film was the audience, as always, full of nobby people pretending to be more scared than they are for attention, and using their phones. I’ll call it – horror films have the worst audiences.
Worth braving even if you don’t like horror films, and feel free to stab anyone who jumps out on you afterwards with a nice pair of gold scissors.