Movie Review: Us will keep your heart rate in the red
Jordan Peele knows what he's playing at.
He knows just how much he needs to show to let you scare yourself.
Just the sight of a little girl, timidly wandering through a fairground, bright red toffee apple in hand, is enough to get any heart rate spiking in anticipation of what is to come.
Likewise, four silhouetted people, stood still and silent in a driveway, plays directly into your worst dreams.
For a second film, Us has a Spielberg-like confidence.
While it might be just shy of the peak Peele hit with his near-perfect directorial debut Get Out (2017), what you see in Us will haunt you for a long time.
Like great horror classics, such as 1978's Dawn Of The Dead, it can either work purely as a gauntlet of scares or it can wield enough social commentary to supply YouTube with video essays for a year. And there will be many about Us.
But this is not just about Peele's horror smarts put large on the screen. The performances are outstanding too.
Bear in mind that everyone plays their own doppelganger. Lupita Nyong'o is so chillingly convincing, it is easy to forget that she is playing opposite herself.
And as Red, the twisted claret overall-clad double of family matriarch Adelaide, it is such an unnerving virtuoso performance, and her occasional rictus puts her firmly into nightmare territory.
It should also be said there are some genuinely funny moments, mostly thanks to Nyong'o's Black Panther co-star Winston Duke as hapless dad Gabe.
Peele has also discovered some fantastic child actors, in particular Madison Curry (the girl with the toffee apple), Shahadi Wright Joseph (as Adelaide's daughter) and Evan Alex (the son). Each portrays their fear utterly convincingly.
The film expands from the confines of a home invasion to a theme so wide it envelops an entire country.
Speial mention also goes to composer Michael Abel. Not just for the main theme but for decontructing 90s jam I Got 5 On It into a tension inducing, fear fest.
This is definitely a film to watch with friends as you will need to discuss it afterwards.
At some points, Us requires you to not think too hard about a reveal and just go with it.
If you can manage that, you'll have a great time. Even if it is one that keeps your heart rate in the red.
RATING: 4 Stars
STARRING: Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Moss, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Madison Curry
WRITER-DIRECTOR: Jordan Peele
THE SKINNY: A family's lakeside holiday turns to terror with the arrival of a family of doppelgangers.