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First Reviews Are In For Peele’s “Us”

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By Kelvin Owens

Comedian turned filmmaker Jordan Peele has followed up 2017’s “Get Out” with “Us,” a new horror thriller which had its first screening last night as part of the SXSW Film Festival.

The story follows a family who vacations at a beachside home in Northern California for the summer. One night, four figures holding hands stand silently at the bottom of their driveway.

Plenty of film critics were in attendance and full reviews have been pouring out of the fest with reports confirming this is less social satire thriller and much more a classic horror film that’s decidedly darker and scarier than “Get Out”.

25 reviews are already up at Rotten Tomatoes with the score at 100% (7.95/10) though it’s too early and too small a sample to be a fair score as yet. Here’s a sampling of quotes which suggest a lot of likes, but others have some reservations:

“Grade: A-. A brilliant home-invasion thriller laced with cultural reference points stretching back to the late ’80s, and a smorgasbord of first-rate visceral cinematic scares. Think ‘Funny Games’ collided with Cronenbergian body horror and Hitchcockian suspense, and you’re maybe halfway there. ” – IndieWire – Eric Kohn

“Clearly the work of an ambitious writer/director who can see himself inheriting the mantle of Rod Serling … it offers twists and ironies and false endings galore — along with more laughs than the comedian-turned-auteur dared to include in his debut film. … It packs a punch. – The Hollywood Reporter – John DeFore

“Grade: B. Us is something of a frustrating watch, a visual and technical marvel that just doesn’t seem to know what it is. Unlike Get Out, which only swelled in impact as you left the theater, Us is best viewed on a visceral level, not an intellectual one. – The A.V. Club – Randall Colburn

“Terrifying…The less you know going in – and the less energy you spend thinking about it after the fact – the better the movie works, trading on some uncanny combination of Peele’s imagination and our own to suggest a horror infinitely larger and more insidious than the film is capable of representing.” – Variety – Peter Debruge

“Similarly, Us mirrors Get Out. It’s more scary fare with social commentary. But the copy’s never quite the same as the original.” – CNET – Erin Carson

“Grade: B+. Peele’s film is destined to be the perfect conversation starter at your next dinner party, trip to the water cooler, cook-out, or wherever as he’s a filmmaker plugged into the American consciousness unlike anybody working in Hollywood today.” – Fresh Fiction – James Clay

“7/10. Us is a volatile, vicious, and boldly expressive horror movie of the loudest volume, proving Jordan Peele to be one of the most invigorating filmmakers in today’s genre scene.” – Matt Donato – We Got This Covered

“4/4. [A] thrilling exploration of the past and oppression this country is still too afraid to bring up. Peele wants us to talk, and he’s given audiences the material to think, to feel our way through some of the darker sides of the human condition.” – RogerEbert.com – Monica Castillo

​“Us” opens wide in cinemas on March 22nd.