By Alyssa Johnson
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
*****WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS*****
Jordan Peele debuted his first ever directorial movie “Get Out,” on February 24, 2017 which had a budget of $4.5 million and made $255 million in the box office. “Get Out” was named one of the top ten movies of 2017 by Times Magazine and has won and been nominated for awards. For his first-time directing a movie, he did exceptionally well. Peele later wrote and directed another film, “Us,” which was released on March 22, 2019 and had a budget of $20 million and made $249.6 million dollars so far in the box office.
If you haven't seen “Get Out” or “Us” and don’t want any spoilers, jump ship right now, do not continue to read any further. “Get Out” is about an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who go to meet Rose’s family all the while Chris is noticing some unusual things. During the visit, Chris notices the fellow Black people that works for his white girlfriend’s family have some unknown forces compelling them to act a certain way. Chris wanders the house, unable to sleep. Rose’s mom informs him that she's a hypnotist and later forces him into a session in order to help his smoking addiction. The next morning the family holds a get together with all their wealthy friends and Chris meets another Black guy, Logan, who also acts weirdly. He recognizes the man and calls his friend Rod, a TSA agent, to tell him about all the strange occurrences happening at the house. Chris decides to take a picture on his phone of the man and when the flash goes off the man snaps and grabs Chris telling him, “to get out.” Immediately following this, they take Logan away and claim it was a seizure, meanwhile Chris is trying to convince Rose that they need to leave. While packing to go back home, Chris finds a photo album of Rose with all her previous black boyfriends and girlfriend. He attempts to leave and the families in the house block his path. He attacks the brother, Jeremy, but Chris is soon hypnotized.
Chris awakens, tied to a chair in their basement, where a video plays showing that the families were actually auctioning off black bodies so they can do a brain transplant. While sitting, he stuffs cotton into his ears to stop any further attempts at hypnotism, he fights for his life upon getting to the ground floor, even killing someone with a deer mount. Driving away, Chris accidentally hits the maid Georgia and carries her to the car not knowing that she's already possessed by Rose’s grandmother: Missy. She lunges at him resulting in a crash that kills her. Soon after Rose comes to apprehend him with Walter, Rose’s grandfather. A flash is all that's needed for Walter to temporarily take control and shoots Rose and then himself. Not having the heart to kill her, Chris leaves Rose stranded and bleeding out on the road.
When asking a friend, Ajiatiel Chapman, a Sophomore at Niagara University, what she had to say about the film she said “I think it's a perfect exaggerated example on the fetish that white people have with black people. They always try to copy the things that are popular within our own culture but get mad if it's the opposite. They focus on what it is to be desired, but not the struggles that comes with being black in a society that only fetishizes us”.
In contrast, “Us” focuses on the demons that comes from fighting oneself, or the self that is shunned by society. Instead, in the movie they are called the “tethered” people. Us starts off with a quote and clip that is later explained through context and movie clues. In the following scene it shows a little background to the plot. Young Adelaide is at a carnival on the beach in Santa Monica, California with her parents when suddenly she wanders off into a mirror maze. After walking into the maze and getting lost, she finds her “tethered” person and loses her voice once she finally gets out of the maze. Years go by, she finds her voice again and now has a family. The family goes on a trip to their beach house and Gabe, her husband, decides to take the family to the same beach where Adelaide found her tethered person before. When they get to the beach, her son Jason goes to the bathroom and did not tell his mother. Adelaide realizes that she cannot find Jason and starts to panic. Once they find Jason they decide to go home. After being shook up from the incident and feeling from a “dark cloud presence” she decides to tell her husband about the incident when she was younger and told him that they need to go home immediately because she feels that the little girl she met was getting closer to finding her. Soon after she decides that she wants to go home, the tethered family shows up outside their home. The tether family ends up breaking into the home and attempts to kill the whole family.
Even though the plot of the movies is totally different, the way Peele directs the movies and puts Easter eggs inside of them are the same. Even though some spoilers are mentioned in this article, they cannot compare to actually watching the movies. Peele directs the movies in a way to get you to think and to watch them multiple times to find more Easter eggs or understand them better. Even in the trailers he hides Easter eggs that go over your head until you watch the movies multiple times. Alison Chodak, a sophomore at Niagara University, says ”I love Jordan Peele movies because of the Easter eggs he hides in the movies and his wide range of skill”. Another friend, Malachi Perry says “Every time I re-watch Get Out it makes more and more sense. Even though I've only seen “Us” once I plan to buy the movie when it comes out and re-watch it to understand the movie better”.
In my opinion these movies are really brilliant and if you haven't had a chance or you were not sure if you wanted to watch them or not, I would highly suggest watching these movies and re-watching them multiple times to get your own understanding or to come up with your own theory on the movies.
Castillo, Monica. “Us Movie Review & Film Summary (2019) | Roger Ebert.” RogerEbert.com, 20 Mar. 2019, www.rogerebert.com/reviews/us-2019.
“Get Out (2017).” Rotten Tomatoes, www.rottentomatoes.com/m/get_out.
Pictures, Universal, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 25 Dec. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNCmb-4oXJA.
Pictures, Universal, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 4 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRfnevzM9kQ.
Ryan, Mike. “Jordan Peele On Why He Hid Three Corey Feldman Easter Eggs In 'Us'.” UPROXX, UPROXX, 20 Mar. 2019, uproxx.com/movies/jordan-peele-interview-us-corey-feldman/.