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Guest Voices: Us

Today's Guest Voice is Rahul Menon, filmmaker and grad student. Rahul sees every movie. EVERY movie. 

 

I think this would be the apt time to coin a new genre just for Jordan Peele: ‘Socio-Horror.' Us is a blast of ideas that’s been smartly packaged and sneaked into a movie theatre as a horror movie, with just enough absurdity to spark conversation.

Us-movie-poster-384x600The #Oscar win for Best Original Writing for Get Out hasn’t gone to Peele’s head. He’s still the same old writer, director, actor and creator: he loves absurd dark humor, he's a horror nerd, and someone who likes to make socially provocative projects.

I can’t talk about Us without talking about Lupita Nyong’o’s sublime performance, Mike Gioulakis’ chilling cinematography and Michael Abels’ haunting score. Lupita Nyong’o is so brilliant in this movie that I’m quite confident that she’ll be overlooked by the Academy, just like Toni Collette in last year’s Heredity. Her performance is essential to the psychological impact of the film, and she succeeds in a big way.

The creative cinematographic choices by Mike Gioulakis are key in illuminating some of the film’s core themes. It crafts a striking and memorable imagery, and enhances the overall chilling experience of the movie. The first time you watch it, enjoy the visuals and the absurdity of the whole thing, the second time you go for it, enjoy the deeper meanings of those visuals, which may lay out different interpretations for different people.

To think that this is Michael Abels’ second time scoring for a movie is just unbelievable! The score lives, breathes, and dances to every beat of the story, along with the characters. You will be spooked by the score, and you will feel like dancing to it, at the same time.

For those of you who have seen and loved Get Out, you know you are in store for lots of allegory and symbolism, satire, social commentary and metaphors. This movie showcases Peele’s ability to build tension and release it in a satisfying way, both with humor and horror, and at times it will remind you of his old comedy sketches from Key and Peele. You will have a lot of questions once the movie gets over; you will definitely want to have a conversation and a discussion with someone, which in itself  is a big win for this movie. 

Get Out was thematically better, much tighter and concise in its story. But Us is definitely a better horror film, using all the tropes to its advantage, and is easily some of the finest visual storytelling that you are likely to see in 2019. This is like a wild horror fever dream, and pretty much every component has to be viewed with the perspective of a social issue.

But the most important thing is that Jordan Peele is just beginning his film career as the new Master of Horror. Regardless of any plot issues the movie has, the guy is a master film maker.

As for Jordan, please keep making horror, please keep making us shudder, the genre loves you. I can see why you were chosen to revive The Twilight Zone.

So do I pay for the next Jordan Peele movie right now, or how does this work? 

"When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you."

 

Rahul Menon was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and currently lives in Illinois. He is an assistant director, screenwriter and occasional actor, as well as a computer science engineer who worked as a software analyst and in advertising and marketing prior to entering the film industry. His screen debut was as screenwriter and assistant director of Saayanna Varthakal (Evening News) in 2018. He is currently pursuing a masters degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Facebook, Instagram, IMDB.

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