‘Us’ Is Not About Race, Director Jordan Peele Says

us race

Get Out was an incisive, socially-conscious horror movie that put Jordan Peele on the map as a filmmaker to watch, so it’s no wonder that people expect his sophomore effort to be just as perceptive about race. But Us, which stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as the parents of a vacationing family terrorized by their doppelgangers, is not about race, Peele says.

The highly anticipated trailer for Us went online Christmas Day, giving us the gift of a chilling, explosive new movie from Peele and Black Panther co-stars Nyong’o and Duke. But a select number of journalists saw a special screening of the trailer at the Bryant Park Hotel before the rest of the world. Peele speak briefly about what audiences can expect from Us, which, while it centers around a black family, won’t be about race like Get Out. Peele said (via The Hollywood Reporter):

“Very important for me was to have a Black family at the center of a horror film. It’s also important to note that this movie, unlike Get Out, is not about race.  It is instead about something I feel has become an undeniable truth. That is the simple fact that we are our own worst enemies.”

While the story themes are more universal, it is still significant to have a black family at the center of a horror film, an element that Peele is using to launch and mold new horror mythologies through his production company Monkey Paw productions, which is also producing remakes of the Twilight Zone and Candyman. “It has been a labor of love. It is a horror film,” Peele said. “I dedicated a lot of myself to creating a new horror mythology and a new monster. I think that monsters and stories about monsters are our best ways of getting at deeper truths and facing our fears as a society.”

So what are the monsters in Us? Peele revealed to Entertainment Weekly that those doppelgangers in red robes are simply called The Tethered. That would explain the scissors but not what they are or where they’re from. Are they a cloning experiment gone wrong? A surreal manifestation of our worst selves? We’ll find out when Us opens in theaters on March 15, 2019.

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