If you’re looking for an easy way to summarize the premise for Jordan Peele‘s new horror movie, Us, may we suggest the following Walt Kelly quote: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Shrouded in secrecy since the film was first announced, the just-released Us trailer (merry Christmas!) provides some tantalizing details about the writer-director’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning debut, Get Out. Although, knowing Peele, there are almost certainly surprises that he’s holding in reserve for maximum shock value when the film hits theaters on March 15. (Watch the trailer above.)
Reuniting Black Panther co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as the loving parents of two adorable children, Us then plunges this ordinary nuclear family into a decidedly extraordinary situation: coming face-to-face with evil doppelgängers of themselves. At a special screening of the trailer for select members of the press, Peele explained that he wrote Us to explore an “undeniable truth” that’s been at the forefront of his mind: “The simple fact that we are our own worst enemies.”
The filmmaker also emphasized that this movie, unlike Get Out, is not specifically about race. That said, it was always his goal to feature a black family at the center of the story. His other goal? “Creating a new mythology and a new monster. I think that monsters and stories about monsters are our best ways at getting at deeper truths and facing our fears as a society.”
That larger mythology, and the film’s monster, are only glimpsed sparingly in this trailer. While on a beachside vacation with family friends (Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker), their son (Evan Alex) crosses paths with a mysterious figure carrying a pair of scissors. It’s an image that could come straight out of Candyman — a film that Peele is not-so-coincidentally remaking as an executive producer.
Later that night, four mask-wearing strangers turn up outside the family’s house, and force their way in — a sequence that can’t help but remind horror fans of the 2008 hit The Strangers. Once they’re inside, it’s revealed that these strangers share the exact faces of the people they’re victimizing. Or, as Nyong’o puts it in the trailer, “They look exactly like us, they think like us, they know where we are, we need to move and keep moving. They won’t stop until they kill or… or we kill them.”
The subsequent rush of images teases just how bloody and brutal this fight is going to get. It also unveils a location that appears to be Us‘s version of Get Out‘s nightmarish “Sunken Place”: a spooky room full of rabbits that could be an outtake from a David Lynch movie. (Or, for that matter, The Favourite.) “It’s been a labor of love,” Peele remarked about the process of bringing Us to the big screen. Based on this first look, watching it will be a scary delight.
Us will start scaring audiences on March 15.
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