Jordan Peele Talks Us Expectations

Jordan Peele‘s eagerly anticipated sophomore directing effort, Us, debuted the first trailer on Christmas last year, giving families something to squirm about while they were home for the holidays. The trailer does a fine job of setting up the story of a black family (Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex), who suddenly find themselves stalked and hunted by another family of unsettling doppelgangers. Knowing what Jordan Peele accomplished with Get Out, many have assumed there will be another kind of racial and social commentary, but the director recently revealed that he’s subverting those expectations somewhat.

First of all, let me just say that I’m glad someone like Jordan Peele, who got his start in comedy, is out here making waves for horror. He even says, “Horror films are important. They’re ways that we as a society face our fears. Personally, they serve as a way for me to acknowledge the dark thoughts floating inside of me.” And that’s one of the reasons we’re so excited for his new version of The Twilight Zone.

But on the subject of Us, Peele has already vaguely said the movie is about how “we are our own worst enemy.” But when Empire (via Uproxx) asked him to clarify what that meant, the director played things pretty close to the vest:

“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.”

Obviously, we don’t want Peele to give everything away anyway. After all, there’s plenty of perplexing stuff in the trailer that raises all sorts of questions, especially the shots with a bunch of rabbits scattered along a hallway. But even if there is some racial commentary to be found in the subtext of this horror film, the director wanted to take it beyond what people assume he’s going to do. Peele explained:

“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.”

How will Peele do that? We’ll have to wait and see when the film arrives on March 22, 2019. But it’ll be premiering at SXSW before that on March 9, so stay tuned for our forthcoming review.

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