For his follow-up to the Oscar-winning Get Out, Jordan Peele made another horror movie. The difference between his directorial debut and Us, though, is that while Get Out used horror to make a point about “benevolent racism,” Us is a “horror movie without any caveats.” Also, there are a lot more scissors.
Peele recently spoke to Empire about Us, which he explained was inspired by the expression “we are own worst enemy.” He refused to elaborate on who the “we” is, because “the movie itself is answering that question. I can’t say it’s not specifically about race, but I don’t want to go too deep into its meaning because it’s there for everybody to discover on their own.” The Toy Story 4 star also called horror movies “important” as a way for “we as a society [to] face our fears. Personally, they serve as a way for me to acknowledge the dark thoughts floating inside of me.” That explains why he gave Lupita Nyong’o a list of 10 classic horror movies, including A Tale of Two Sisters, Funny Games, Let the Right One In, and Martyrs, to watch as preparation for Us:
“There hasn’t been a horror film about a black family, that I can remember. I think that’s an important thing to note. We have a lot of films in this genre where a family meets a monster, but the fact we’ve never seen a black family in that situation is a problem to me. There’s a presumption in the industry that if black people are the leads in a film it has to be in some way about race. I wanted to show that we can push past that.”
Us premieres at SXSW on March 9 before opening on March 22.