• Morgan Fagg


Jordan Peele's latest movie masterpiece Us.

Anna and I put on Jordan Peele's latest film Us after impressing us with his first film Get Out in 2017.

I am not familiar with his acting career but was pleasantly surprised with his directorial debut where he won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and nominations for Best Picture and Best Director.

The film begins with a hands across America event in 1986 when a little girl disappears.

Shocked by whatever she had seen, we learn that the girl is traumatised before we fast forward 30 years and see her as a grown woman with kids of her own.

One of the things that struck me about the film was its title which in Spanish is Nosotros. Nosotros translates directly as us but to me and Anna strongly disagrees with me on this, Us is a reference to the United States and the whole film is set in the "Continental Unites States" and in one scene when questioned who they are, the others respond, "We are Americans."

Anna thinks that I am obsessed with Trump and America but the film clearly references Americans and the United States and it was written by Jordan Peele whose films clearly have an African American focus.

In my opinion this film is all about the-haves-and-the-have-nots, those fortunate enough to enjoy the American dream and those who never get out of the gutter.

No Glove no Love but please don't run with scissor hands

This is considered a horror movie and I wouldn't be surprised if director Jordan Peele hasn't just taken things from his own childhood that scared him.

Starting with the girl going missing after winning a Michael Jackson Thriller t-shirt at the fair, her mother says that she will have nightmares with that shirt and who didn't find Thriller terrifying in the 80s?

Later our protagonist played by Lupita Nyong is on the beach and she can't relax and is concerned about every little thing happening on the beach. Her son has disappeared briefly but the scene is very reminiscent to Stephen Spielberg's second film, Jaws. Not only does it have a Jaws vibe but her son Jason is clearly seen wearing a Jaws t-shirt at the end of the scene.

When they do leave Crystal Lake, sorry the beach, we finally get to see what has been stalking them and they, (the so called Americans) carry scissors and seem to wear a single glove reminiscent of a scary Michael Jackson or Freddy Krueger. The scissors clearly represents something in the film but it feels like Peele is referencing the classic slasher genre such as Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers and even the Scream films even though I'm sure Scream isn't seen as a horror classic even though it is a Wes Craven film after all.

The son's name is Jason so there is that as well but Jordan Peele wouldn't be the first director to give a nod to other people's work. In the original Jaws film, a tiger shark is found with a licence plate that begins with the numbers 007 and it is believed this was part of Spielberg's interest in directing James Bond though he was apparently turned down twice for the role.

Maybe the number plate was a nod to James Bond's latest 1973 film, I don't know but we do know that two years after Jaws, we saw James Bond fighting off a man with steel teeth called Jaws. That same 007 number plate was quite literally regurgitated again in the 1999 shark film Deep Blue Sea.

Getting back on track with directorial nods and winks, Hitchcock played small cameo roles in his films like a modern day Stan Lee and M. Night Shyamalan seems to do the same in his films which I take as a nod to Alfred Hitchcock's work but I only discovered recently that the scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis was actually cast in Halloween by John Carpenter because of who her mother was.

I always knew that Jamie Lee was the daughter of Tony Curtis who had acted along James Bond actor Roger Moore in the Persuaders but I never knew that Jamie Lee takes the Lee from her mother Janet Leigh. The same Janet Lee who died at the hands of a Pyscho with a knife in Alfred Hichcock's 1960's bloody masterpiece.

As I said, Us represents the U.S. and considering the timing of this film as children are kept indefinately in concentration camps at enormous costs to the taxpayer and Dreamers have their dreams of US citizenship crushed by a racist president, we should all agree that America is living a nightmare right now that no horror writer could have written.

STATE OF US: Stephen King tells it like it is in this horrific tweet.

Bond number plate theory: https://www.jamesbondlifestyle.com/articles/steven-spielbergs-secret-reference-james-bond-and-live-and-let-die-movie-jaws

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