Us ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

“but your people took it for granted”

this is such an interesting movie in the sense that you can go as deep as you’d like to go with it. at surface level is a very thrilling and accessible horror movie, but the possibilities are endless from there in all kinds of different directions. i’ve been thinking about it more and more, and during my rewatch tonight my mind was racing with bigger picture theories the entire time

the most fascinating theory that my thoughts were preoccupied with involves the switching of the two girls at the beginning and how it shapes the story: we learn at the end that they switched as children, but the way that this information affects the story is imperative. the first time i saw it, one of my friends turned to me during the end credits and said “so the main one was the evil one the whole time” and without having to think about it i immediately said to her “no, that’s the whole point, neither of them were the evil one” 

this is “the grass is greener on the other side” in a literal sense. before the girls, the people on earth and the tethered below didn’t know of each other (probably, maybe). after the girls, the one above developed a survival instinct because of the hell she once knew, and a paranoia that revenge was coming for her. and the one now tethered below knows what she’s missing out on and sets a plan in motion. an uprising is possible only because she’s aware of greener grass, and the revolution begins with that knowledge. the plan she builds is based on childish ideologies because she’s been stuck down there since she was a child, she even starts her first monologue like a fairy tale. for one girl, her trauma keeps her alive and willing to fight for her better life and for her family. and for the other, her trauma manifests into anger, revenge, and reclaiming the life she once had but barely remembers. neither is evil, but neither is really good either. just like anyone, just like everyone. all we have is circumstance and how it shapes us and what we do about it

it also brings sympathy to all of the tethered, most plainly in the scenes where elizabeth moss 2.0 is applying lip gloss. she smiles and laughs in the mirror, but there are tears in her eyes. has she always longed for this unattainable life, stuck in a constant mimicking of applying makeup and wishing it was real? or did she not realize how much she was missing until she saw for herself? there’s no real answers for a lot of the questions that the movie presents, but the fact that it presents them at all speaks volumes to it’s depth as a seemingly straightforward horror film. i’m thinking about these things i’ve written here, but you might be thinking about completely different aspects of it. and even if my theories are wrong, the fact that i’m thinking this far into it proves it’s worth: this is the kind of movie that begs to be discussed, and that’s why i’m truly enthralled by it

some other things: the whole sequence in josh and kitty’s house is brilliant, especially the good vibrations part. and the dance at the end? i’m getting chills just thinking about it. also this is maybe the funniest movie of the year so far? jordan proves with good writing that comedy can mix with horror without being too over the top or diminishing the fear. phenomenal. i have so much more i could say, but i’m gonna save that for my next viewing

“it’s our time now. our time up there”

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