This Christmas Day, we get our first look at the trailer for Us, Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to his 2017 film Get Out. And it looks viscerally terrifying in a way his first film, which opted for muted subtlety, was not.
Get Out was one of our favorite films of 2017, a subtle exploration of racial tensions that quietly builds to reveal its horrifying premise and inevitably bloody conclusion. It was a surprise box office hit, raking in more than $ 250 million globally, and snagging multiple Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture. Peele won the Oscar for best original screenplay—the first time the award has gone to a black recipient.
Us looks like more of a standard horror film, in the “home invasion by strange creatures” category. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe (Winston Duke) Wilson take their two kids (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) to the beach to relax and unwind with friends (one of whom is played by Elizabeth Moss). Their young son, Jason, encounters a strange figure on the beach, and that night the figure shows up at the house with three others. They break in, and that’s when the real terror begins. Because those figures are creepy doppelgängers of each family member. (Peele calls them “the Tethered.”)
Judging by the trailer, they’re also really violent, intent on killing their human doppelgängers—unless the family can kill them first. “For my second feature, I wanted to create a monster mythology,” Peele told Entertainment Weekly. “I wanted to do something that was more firmly in the horror genre but still held on to my love of movies that are twisted but fun.”
This is still very much a Jordan Peele film, so there’s an artistry here often lacking from your average horror fare. This time the theme isn’t so much racial tension, as exploring, in Peele’s words, the ways in which “we are our own worst enemies.”
That theme seems to inform several scenes in the trailer—the family dwarfed by their own shadows as they walk along the beach, for instance. Peele has also amassed an impressive cast, all of whom play dual roles: their human selves and their creepy intruder selves. What actor wouldn’t want to tackle that kind of challenge? All in all, I think we’ll discover that Us will prove to be a hugely entertaining, intelligent horror film. We’d expect nothing less from Jordan Peele.
Us hits theaters March 19, 2019.