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US – Michael Abels

March 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Us is the sophomore effort of writer-director Jordan Peele, who took the box office by storm, and won critical praise, for his debut film Get Out in 2017. Both films are nominally horror films, with Us being more traditionally scary than Get Out was, but both films also delve much deeper into a whole host of political and sociological issues that most genre films don’t touch. Us provides scares a-plenty, but also takes its time to offer ruminations on identity, childhood trauma, and the overwhelming fear of ‘outsiders’ that currently permeates contemporary American culture. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyongo stars as Adelaide, who as a child had a horrifying experience in a funhouse by the Santa Cruz seaside boardwalk that left her psychologically scarred; now grown up, she reluctantly returns to the same resort with her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and pre-teen children Zoe and Jason (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex). Adelaide and Gabe are a normal, middle-class, affluent all-American family, and after spending the day on the beach with their friends (Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker), they retire to their beach house. However, that night, they are assailed by four mysterious strangers clad in red jumpsuits, each of whom look like almost perfect mirror images of Adelaide and her family. What these doppelgängers want, who they are, and where they come from, is soon revealed to be literal stuff of nightmares. Read more…

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GET OUT – Michael Abels

March 3, 2017 4 comments

getoutOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Get Out, from writer-director Jordan Peele, is a horror movie with a contemporary twist, providing a different look at the genre while commenting on the all-too-contemporary issues facing young African-American men. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a black man who agrees to spend the weekend visiting the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose (Alison Williams). Upon arriving, he meets his potential in-laws (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener), and for a while everything seems normal in their little slice of suburban heaven, but before long Chris starts noticing strange behavior among the guests at a party, and among the hired help, and begins to feel that something is terribly, terribly wrong. The film has been praised both for its subversion of genre clichés, and for its unflinching look at racial and social issues in modern American society, with special acclaim being afforded to Peele, who one critic said has “created a work that addresses the myriad levels of racism, pays homage to some great horror films, carves out its own creative path, has a distinctive visual style – and is flat-out funny as well”. Read more…