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Jordan Peele’s cinematic universe of American fears expands with ‘US’

Jordan Peele’s new horror film US, hit theaters on Mar. 22. The film centers on a family who is terrorized by their doppelgängers.

Playing up imposter syndrome, there’s a lot to unpack while watching the film. Much like Get Out, there is a mystery to solve. A mystery that Americans are afraid of.

Peele says in multiple interviews that there’s a connection between the two films, but that could mean anything. They’re in the same universe and they share Peele’s love for horror, but could Peele be warping the truth.

Or perhaps they’re both about privilege.  And both about very distinctly American social fears.

Get Out is about the fear of powerful white people controlling black bodies. US is about “privileged” Americans worried about a hidden underground “other” that will be coming to take over.

That “other” could be anything from immigrants and the lower class to a forgotten past. Any combination of these groups could be represented by the red suits. What we do know is that they are us, they are Americans. It’s even indicated in the title—US, as in the United States.

Overall, US seeks to make you question the intention of the story, the message, and underlying themes. In time, Get Out reveals its meaning and if you pay attention enough you’ll see the layered clues in the film.

US decides that you need to do the work to figure out the themes of the story. While you watch you’ll be building your theories only to have them thrown out at every twist of the story.

The craziest twist comes at the very end giving you little time to adjust. But there are more hidden gems. Just like Get Out was made to be rewatched, you should definitely rewatch US in order to pick up on more clues.

Also unlike Get Out, the protagonists in the film just happen to be Black and there is no apparent racial commentary based on this. Perhaps the commentary is just that Black people can be in horror films without there being a racial theme or reason. The film seems to be more about class and fate.

This “underclass” is part of America, they’re not necessarily pretty and they’re here to bring about the end of American life as we know it. Sound familiar?

But Peele isn’t here to tell us these red revolutionaries are evil, or even good. We’re made to understand that they are us and we are them after all. And that perhaps we should look in the mirror and find ourselves in them.

Whatever theories begin to surface about the mythology of US, we can’t wait for the next American fear to come up from the tunnels.