Us has only been in theaters for a couple of days, but it already has fans shook.
Jordan Peele further cemented his status as a creative genius with a mind-blowing examination of classism packaged into a doppelgänger horror storyline.
A variety of critics have broken the film down in a multitude of ways and explained the symbolism behind certain characters, colors, and bits of 80s history – all of which makes sense because there is so much to digest. It’s the type of film that burrows into your head and takes up residence for days as you make new connections about characters and references.
But, in the midst of heavy analysis, I can’t help but think about how Us took music, mundane things, and even a popular pastime, and made them all absolutely horrifying. It’s not uncommon to take an innocent object and twist its meaning, but the way this movie uses the following is unlike anything we have ever seen before.
I know, the rabbits aren’t scary at all in this movie. As a matter of fact, you probably want to adopt one and give it a big hug right now.
But, the context in which they are used by the Tethered and how it lines up with their normal counterparts is sickening, sad, and quite shocking. This Easter definitely won’t feel the same when thoughts of little white bunnies come to mind.
The film’s infamous use of gold surgical scissors has played heavily into its overall marketing scheme for a few great reasons. Scissors have always sat at a complicated intersection by being an ordinary household necessity, a brutal weapon, and a lifesaving tool, but Us pushed them firmly into the murder category as a key part of the Tethered’s defense strategy.
And, it doesn’t hurt that the scissors are a distinctive feature to make those red jumpsuits cosplay gold. We might have to throw all of them away just to be safe.
Whistling can be used as a joyful expression or as an attention-grabbing method. To me, it lost its last bits of joy when Negan used it as his calling card on The Walking Dead, but there have been several horror flicks where the bad guy likes to whistle a bit.
Us officially kicked off its twisted storyline the moment that Adelaide’s innocent whistle resonated through the fun-house walls. Now, a person whistling in your vicinity will really have you looking around for your carbon copy.
Carnivals and fun-house mirrors
To be fair, carnivals have always had some level of scariness — and one of the creepiest elements of a carnival is the little maze of mirrors that depict your reflection in several odd ways.
But this film really put a dark spin on a fun night at the boardwalk by showing the Tethered being jerked around violently as their counterparts rode rides. The fun-house mirrors connection is a person’s worst nightmare of their own image somehow coming to life, so all of them have officially been cancelled as of today.
I Got 5 on It
Who would have thought that this 90s classic about going in on a bag of weed could be used in such a sinister way? This song may seem completely unrelated to the events of Us, but it actually examines the life of an economically disadvantaged person, so there is a tie-in about class.
I loved how they remixed the original version for the promos and the early clue that it gave fans as the Wilsons rapped along in their car. But the brilliant orchestral take for the final scenes with Adelaide and Red’s calculated and brutal showdown has forever changed my perception of this Luniz tune in the best way.
So, hug a rabbit, throw away your scissors, jam to “I Got 5 on It,” avoid carnivals, and be prepared to potentially murder anyone who whistles near you because our life post-Us is stranger than fiction.