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Just How Scary (& Violent) Is Us?

Shahadi Wright Joseph and Lupita Nyong'o in Us

How scary is Us, the new movie from Jordan Peele? The first big horror release of what promises to be a very scary 2019, Peele's follow-up to Get Out has received some of the most unnerving trailers in years, and while the marketing has hidden a lot, they're not misselling the movie at all.

Us follows a family on holiday in Santa Cruz who fall foul of home invaders... that look exactly like them. To go any more into this doppelganger chiller would be to spoil the twisty, layered story Peele has constructed, but this is sure to be one of the most debated films since, well, Get Out. With critics raving (the film currently sits at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes) and box office predictions growing, it's fair to assume a lot of people will go see Us this weekend. But some may be curious just what terrors they're in for.

Related: Read Screen Rant's Us Review

So how scary is Us? The MPAA has given the new film an R rating (meaning nobody under 17 can see unsupervised) for "violence/terror and language", while the BBFC has given it a 15 rating (meaning nobody under 15 will be admitted) for "strong language, violence, threat". But what does that translate to in terms of scares and how does Us compare to other popular horror movies? Allow us to explain just how scary Us is (with no spoilers).

How Scary Is Us Movie?

Lupita Nyong'o in Us

Plainly put, Us is a scarier movie than Get Out - whereas Jordan Peele's first film could get away with being described as a thriller (or a comedy at the Golden Globes), Us is an all-out horror. There are longer stretches of high-tension where the characters are completely out of their depth and running or fighting for their lives. That's the primary horror for much of Us: fear and threat of attack, like in many slasher films. On a bigger scale, the ideas at play are certainly unnerving too and will chill long after the movie's over.

As for how Us' horror is conveyed, there's a lot of slow-burn, anxiety-building sequences where Peele uses all the filmmaking tricks at his disposal - uneasy lighting, careful blocking of locations - to freak the audience out. The imagery alone of the often-disfigured, always-glaring doppelgangers is pretty scary, and there's a lack of restraint in their attacks.

There aren't any proper jump scares in Us; the movie has plenty of surprise moments but the jolts come from more the fear of what's coming than the shock itself (so don't expect any high-pitched stings). In addition, there's a grounded humor present throughout that keeps things on the entertaining side and a good balance in the power play between victims and hunters that provides occasional respite. Unless the first lick of tension is too much for you, you should be able to go along for the ride of Us.

How Violent Is Us Movie?

Elizabeth Moss in Us

With the premise, violence is inevitable in Us. Multiple characters are stabbed and beaten with an assortment of weapons leading to death or long-sustained injury.

That said, while there's a lot of blood shown, most of the violence itself is suggestive. Kills focus on the splatter rather than the impact, more brutal slayings occur in the background and penetration by knives, scissors and other weapons are only seen briefly. While there's enough to creep out those with a fear of gore, if you're not too upset by sharp objects you should be OK with Us.

The Rest Of Us Movie's R-Rating: Nudity & Swearing

Winston Duke in Us

There is strong language used throughout Us, with the severity going as high as "f*ck". "Sh*t" is also used and the n-word appears in song lyrics.

There is no nudity in Us.

Next: How Us Is A Very Different Film To Get Out

Key Release Dates
  • Us (2019) release date: Mar 22, 2019
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