Us: the enemy within

Welcome back,

On today’s blog post I’ll be doing a review and a personal intake on Us. This well known horror film has definitely managed to spark conversations; even theories have already been made throughout the web (which I’m living for). Believe me when I say that they’re quite convincing too as you recall back at the scenes. However, just as as last time, nothing will be confirmed till Jordan Peele does an official release on what he intended with the film metaphors and symbols. If you watched ‘Get Out’, you’ll have a slight idea of what I’m referring to, as Peele did the same with his other popular horror. Some say that they’re even linked to some degree.

Before I start, I’ll just say that I will be making quite a lot of references to the film, INCLUDING FEW SPOILERS, so if you’re intending to watch it for the first time, I recommend you don’t keep reading haha. So without further ado I’ll be talking on how Jordan Peele artistically does an in-depth exploration of the international relations between the Self and the Other. May I add that Lupita N’yongo depicts this so well through her role as Adelaide Wilson. A mother of 2 children, who still finds herself haunted by her childhood experience at the Santa Cruz beachfront. A place where she was forced to face her Other self in the most uncanny and almost inevitable manner. Be that as it may, just like any other psychological horror trope, it is an experience which is deeply buried into the unconscious and forgotten, till once again forced to face it. The past which cannot be hidden nor escaped. Peele gives the audience glimpses of Adelaide’s past throughout the story. I believe that Peele purposefully chose not to add them chronologically, as it was to mirror both the internal fight within Adelaide and the search for self.

If you’re a psychological geek such as myself, then you’ll definitely feel yourself get drawn more and more into the symbolisms of the film. As with any internal battle, there can only be one winner that comes out victorious, and consequently gets to live out in the real world (the consciousness). In this case, you find out that the Adelaide that you see driving into paradise with her family at the end, is actually the tether that swapped places with the real Adelaide when she was young. Thus bringing us back to the Adelaide that felt anxious and reluctant to go back to the beachfront that haunts her. Why? Because it was the very same place that she found her freedom from the underground. She did not want the real Adelaide to strip her from her happiness by seeking revenge. Some good that did cos she’s standing right outside the patio right about now.

As mentioned earlier, Peele uses the Self and Other framework to differentiate the two. However, he soon implies that the framework could actually be one singular thing; this is well established by the fact that the tethered look 100% identical to their human hosts. We can take this even further by saying that similarly to Adelaide being the protagonist of the film, her tether is the leader of the underground. Both upholding the image of high power. Peele is trying to show the audience that the Other is primarily within us, a part of us, that the thing we fear the most is ourselves. Just play around with that idea in your head. Often it is our own internal fear that stops us from stepping out of the box. Adelaide shows this in the final scene where her and Jason (her son) exchange looks. She gives out a sinister smile that allures her true identity; as well as the idea of evil and good coexisting with one another.

These are merely a small fraction of the explanations in the film. There are much more within it but I don’t want to have you guys sitting here for hours on end reading haha. However, if you’re interested in the other symbols and metaphors, get yourself on google. Have you watched Peele’s Us? Share your thoughts below on the comments section.

Yours Truly,

Melanin Talks x

*none of the images used in this post belong to me.



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