Thought I’d stop into work to finally see Jordan Peele’s Us. I love seeing movies in the theater, but I generally hate seeing movies with too many other people around. The sound of eating, talking, phones beeping, people getting up and down, coughing… I’m a misanthrope at heart, what can I say. However, some reviews I saw/heard really emphasized collective audience reaction in their enjoyment of the film.
My showing was about 40% full in a very large auditorium, so I thought I’d manage to get some of that slick collective experience folks have been raving about. No dice. People did not react the way I was expecting at all. There was laughter at tense moments (maybe as a coping mechanism?), cries of recognition at the needle drops irregardless of the context (I’m looking at you, Good Vibrations), and general all around bad etiquette.
Putting all of that aside, I really enjoyed the movie. It was excellent horror, and the use color and cinematography was gorgeous. Peele wowed us with Get Out, but he grew as a filmmaker between then and now. I’d read people’s reviews saying that Peele knows how to light for black actors at night better than most, and that came through crystal clear. I was with the characters from start to finish, and the tension—especially during the home invasion sequence—had me clutching my seat.
I’m glad he didn’t go for nearly as strong or direct of social commentary this time around, but listening to people during the credits try to make connections that were barely there was amusing, if annoying. I’m one of those schmucks who stays through to the very end of the credits in the theater, and at least my audience was not interested in that nonsense at all.
This has turned into more of an audience-bashing than a film review. I liked the damn movie. Peele is visionary and incredible. I hope to see all sorts of things from him for many years to come.