How many times have you been hanging out with your fellow horror-loving friends and started quoting lines from your favorite titles? It’s moments like those that have always stood out for me as being some of the most enjoyable times. It’s when I know that the people I’m with understand what I’m saying and know what I mean when I rattle off lines, examples, scenes, or whatever. It makes communication all the easier, cutting out loads of explanation and saving minutes, if not hours. Us director Jordan Peele used a method that many directors have employed for their projects that employs this same phenomenon.
Basically, Peele had Lupita Nyong’o watch several horror films so that they could speak the same “language” during the filming of Us. Per BlackStarFest, those films included The Shining, The Babadook, It Follows, A Tale of Two Sisters, The Birds, Funny Games, Martyrs, Let the Right One In, and The Sixth Sense, all films that offer something really special and amazing to the horror community. The themes in these films tackle grief, paranoia, obsession, the power of family, and even love.
This collection of films is arguably a collection of some of the best titles from the last 20+ years (plus The Birds) and would undoubtedly set a very strong foundation to discuss horror and the themes that run through the genre. Peele’s list could very well be one that is passed around to those interested in venturing down the horror path at some point or another.
“Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us follows Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.
Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family.
After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. Us pits an endearing American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.“
Written and directed by Jordan Peele, Us was also produced by Peele, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Ian Cooper. It will hit theaters on March 15, 2019.