The Hidden Messages Within Peele’s New Film ‘Us’

Screen Grab via Universal Pictures
"Us" is Jordan Peele's second box office success, hitting a high of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes
Podcast on Jordan Peele’s “Us”

Priscilla Welch

Staff Writer

“It is our time now,” said Adelaide Wilson’s “tethered” doppelganger. Who lives in those abandoned tunnels and old subway stations in America? Did you know about them before reading this, or watching the movie? This is the truth behind “Us” and the movie meaning.

Before reading, make sure to watch “Get Out.” The amazing and brilliant Jordan Peele has brought us another social horror movie about race and the truth behind our American culture.

“US” was released on March 22nd. The movie takes us back the the “Get Out” universe where the Wilsons go back to Adelaide’s childhood beach house for a family vacation.

Right away we know from the beginning of the movie that Adelaide’s character is traumatized as young girl at a fair on the beach. I loved how Peele waits to elaborate more on this scene where she meets her doppelganger for the very first time.

Overall, the movie was amazing! From a critic view the movie was a traumatic, exciting, and a scary experience.

I could not get my mind off of Lupita’s voice and personality as one of the tethered. The way she walked, stared, everything! I could not go to sleep.

All the characters did a amazing job but Lupita really stood out. The movie and the plot was fit for this year and the traumas happening in America right now. 

Throughout the movie we notice certain hints on each character’s life.

Adelaide is very scared to go to the beach house, and worries about her children,  especially her son.

Her son,  Jason is a weird little boy, who loves magic tricks, and is a little shy.

Zora,  is somewhat controlling and is the older sister who is learning how to be a teenager. Her character is usually on her phone and loves listening to music.

Then we have Abraham,  who is just your average father and husband who wants to spend time with his family, and loves experiencing new things.  In my opinion he is a little manipulative.

You may remember the scene where he convinces Adelaide to go to the beach because of their son that she loves.

Last but not least the family’s friends, which are the Tyler’s. They are also your average family in America. The husband and wife drink too much, the wife wants to be someone else, and their daughters are selfish and are adjusting to teenage life.

Apart from it all we have their opposites. In this universe, every family has a doppelganger. It is basically the opposite of you.

I love how Peele pinpoints how it starts with Adelaide and her “tethered”, named Red.  They are the key to this entire movie because their story is a little different from all the others. Spoiler alert, the real Adelaide is a “tethered.”

Peele is known for having so many symbols in his movies that have more than one meaning.

Moving on, some key symbols I thought were very important and would like to highlight are: The bunnies, “the tethered” wearing the color red, sewers in America, the movie title, holding of hands, the main character in handcuffs, and the scissors. All of these symbols have more than one meaning but this is based on my research.

First and foremost the main character, Adelaide/Red when the switch occurred in the beginning of the movie the real character was handcuffed to the bed.

Later on we see the fake character handcuffed for the rest of the movie. The wearing of red by the the tethered represents Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

In his famous music video he wears red and M.J. is known for his dual personality in “Thriller.” When the “tethered” wear one glove this also signifies M.J. Peele makes sure to add in a lot eighties references during the film.

The bunnies in the movie were also a big symbol! At first they were caged and then were free for the final battle. The bunnies represent the “tethered” and their journey.

Also, the sewers in America represent how foreigners and immigrants use them to get into America illegally, and how certain Americans treat them badly. For some reason it is always “us or them.” Speaking of the movie title, “US” really means United States.

The last two are the old commercials from the eighties when Reagan was President.  For fifteen minutes all over the country people held hands to signify an organization “Hands Across America” for the hungry and homeless.

Finally the scissors, personally I thought this was a very important weapon because they symbolize cutting and Adelaide was cut away from her family and her whole life because of someone else who stole it.

Anyway, the movie has been a success so far. Expectations for the movie in the box office have been thirty-eight  million to forty-five million dollars.

So far,  it has only reached seven million dollars. There is a lot of controversy around Lupita’s character as well because she has demonized the way she speaks and apparently this has offended the disability community.

Will this affect the movie? Can Lupita or any of the cast and crew win an award for this great film? Can you handle the truth behind this movie? Do not take my word,  find out for yourself. Go to the theaters because it is a MUST-SEE!

Email Priscilla at:

pwelch@live.esu.edu

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