us twist ending explained

You’ve seen Us by now, right? It’s been out for a couple of weeks, and people can’t stop talking about all its twists and turns. Still, if you’ve yet to see Jordan Peele‘s mind-bending horror film, and have also managed to avoid spoilers up until now, you might want to turn back this instance. For everyone else, continue on to hear Peele’s own thoughts on why the Us ending had to happen the way it did.

Spoilers follow.

There are a lot of twists in Us, but perhaps the biggest one comes at the very end. At the start of the film, young Adelaide encounters her exact double at a boardwalk funhouse. Years later, we meet the adult Adelaide, now played by Lupita Nyong’o. She’s still traumatized by her experience as a child, remaining terrified that she’ll encounter her double again one day. Sure enough that double (also played by Lupita Nyong’o) shows up to terrorize Adelaide and her family for the rest of the film. At the very end, Peele drops one big final twist: the real Adelaide that we met as a child was knocked out and replaced with the double, who then grew up to take her place. So the character we thought was the “evil double” the entire movie was, in fact, Adelaide, while the Adelaide we spent so much time with was the double.

Peele recently appeared on The Empire Podcast, and delved into why the film needed to end the way it did (via Collider):

“This movie’s about maybe the monster is you. It’s about us, looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in the movie is the surrogate for the audience, so it felt like at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie. We’ve been following the villain. I say villain lightly because I think there are many experiences of the film, and I think a lot of people go through a question of what is good and evil? Does that even exist? Both characters are lovable and terrifying, based on the lives they’ve led they’ve just sort of inverted the paths.”

This harkens back to to something Peele said in the past: “We are in a time where we fear the other, whether it’s the mysterious invader who might kill us or take our jobs, or the faction that doesn’t live near us that votes differently than we did. Maybe the evil is us. Maybe the monster that we’re looking at has our face.”

I’m sure everyone has their own opinion of this big twist, and whether or not they think it works. I personally think it does, and I think the hints and clues Peele drops throughout the entire film make the pay-off even better. But your mileage may vary. In any case, I’m confident Us is going to be The Shining of this generation, in that it’s the type of multi-layered film people will still be trying to decipher for years to come.

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