Here’s a riddle: What type of people are petrified of teacups? Answer: Anyone who has seen Get Out. Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was a smash-hit, both in terms of box office and critical acclaim. It earned a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and a plethora of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Above all, Get Out elevated the horror film genre, offering up bone-chilling scares and a cutting commentary on race relations in America.
Peele is back again, with his follow-up Us, one of the buzziest films of 2019. The comedian-turned-director has promised ginormous scares and all signs point to him delivering. So what exactly does the creator of the Sunken Place have in store for us this time? Will Us do to scissors what Get Out did to teacups? Will beachfront properties take a nosedive? Here is Everything We Know So Far About Jordan Peele’s Us:
8 Us stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss
Right out of the gate, we’re impressed with this stellar cast. Us is a reunion of sorts for Nyong’o and Duke, who co-starred in Black Panther. They play a married couple, as do Moss and actor Tim Heidecker. Both Nyong’o and Moss are awards darlings—Nyong’o won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave and Moss has picked up multiple awards for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale. Horror movies don’t typically generate serious awards buzz, but between the pedigree of Us’s stars and Jordan Peele’s deserved reputation as one of the best new filmmakers around, Us may be a serious contender come next awards season.
7 Jordan Peele passed on big Hollywood projects in order to film Us
The reason? Peele would prefer to create original content. Certainly he's up to the task, given that he won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Get Out. He has said that the horror genre is his “sweet spot” and given the evidence, we agree.
6 Us is about a family who is terrorized by a group of people who look exactly like them
If this premise alone doesn’t make you double check that your doors and windows are locked, I don’t know what will. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) is a wife and mother with a secret, traumatic past. She, along with family and friends, visit her childhood beach house where come nightfall, a group of visitors, known as “the Tethered” show up. The creepy part? They are doppelgangers of Adelaide and her family. And they're out for blood. The nightmares create themselves.
5 The premise was inspired by a Twilight Zone episode.
Peele has said that Us was inspired by a Twilight Zone episode in which a woman at a bus stop sees her doppelganger and fears that this stranger is an evil force whose goal is to replace her. Sounds a bit creepy, no?
Peele has been a longtime fan of The Twilight Zone, so much that he is producing a reboot of the series for CBS All Access.
4 The first trailer dropped on Christmas Day
For most, Christmas is all about spending time with family. So what better holiday to give us a trailer about the family from hell? The first Us trailer, prominently featuring the Luniz song “I Got 5 On It”, raises a ton of questions. Who are these scissor-toting lookalikes? How did they get here? What’s with all the rabbits? Will I scream so loud I get a ejected from the theater?
3 Peele has said Us isn’t about race
The director spoke to Rolling Stone about his vision for the film. He described Us as “spill-your-soda scary” as opposed to Get Out, which is more of an "existential" horrror. Though viewers may expect more skewering social satire à la Get Out, Peele has vehemently stated that Us is not a race movie. In the interview, he stressed the importance of being able to “tell black stories without it being about race”.
2 Us is expected to have a bigger box office opening weekend than Get Out
This is a huge deal, given what a cultural phenomenon Get Out was. Get Out’s opening box office was $33.3 million; Us is expected to net $35-40 million. That number is just the beginning. As a whole, Get Out grossed over $250 million. Genre films generally perform better at the box office than arthouse fare. Given that Us appears to be more of a classic horror film than Get Out, a gigantic box office success isn’t an unrealistic prediction for Jordan Peele’s sophomore film.
1 Us premiered at SXSW to rave reviews
Not only did Us have its world premiere at the festival, it was the opening night film. The crowd’s response was overwhelmingly positive and vocal. As in people screamed during the screening. Critics in attendance have already labelled the film a success.
The SXSW premiere may have something to do with Us being pushed back a week from its original release date. However, the wait will soon be over. Us graces theaters this Friday, March 22. If the critics and Peele himself are telling us the truth, keep a firm grip on your soda and popcorn when watching.
In other words, watch yourself.