In 2017, Jordan Peele electrified audiences with his instantly quotable Get Out, which ultimately earned more than $250 million worldwide and snagged a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.
Now Peele is back with his widely anticipated new movie, Us, slated for release on March 15, 2019. The trailer — which looks legitimately terrifying — dropped on Christmas Day.
The trailer teases a film about on a family that goes on vacation. Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two kids (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) have headed to the beach, and Adelaide’s childhood beach house, for some rest and relaxation — but the son wears a Jaws T-shirt in the back seat of the car as they depart, signaling something’s going to go very badly.
The trailer soon shows them lounging on the sand with friends (played by Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker). Then the son sees a creepy figure on the beach — though the rest of the family seems not to notice.
But later in the evening, while the family is back at their house, four figures appear in the driveway. And — to their horror — the family realizes the figures aren’t their friends. They’re not even strangers.
They’re themselves — or, as Adelaide says, “They’re us.”
From there the trailer becomes a series of frightening images, some of which include Moss, which indicates that whatever scary events take place extend well beyond just the film’s central family. The mysterious figures are evil (and extremely creepy) versions of the main characters, played by the same actors.
While introducing the trailer to critics a couple weeks before its debut, Peele said that the film wasn’t about race, the way Get Out was, but about the fact that, as the trailer says, “we are our own worst enemies.” Peele also spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the movie, saying he wanted to create a “new monster mythology.”
And what the trailer seems to reveal is that Us draws on some standard horror tropes. According to Peele, it’s a monster story. It also appears to have all the markings of home invasion horror, especially terrifying since home is supposed to be a place where we’re safe. And it clearly draws on the age-old trope of the doppelgänger, or double; in some cultures, seeing your doppelgänger is a harbinger of death.
The fact that the actors seem to play dual characters, in combination with the scissors imagery from the movie’s early poster, suggests that the idea of a double personality — or a dark side versus a light side, or the “monster within” — may be a big part of where Us is headed. Given Peele’s interest in social horror, the film is likely to be more than just a bloody thrill ride. And no matter what happens, anticipation will inevitably be high for Peele’s sophomore outing.
Us is slated for release on March 15, 2019.