11:11. There does not seem to be another way to introduce director Jordan Peele’s horror film and latest masterpiece Us. Screening for the first time in front of a local audience at Event Cinemas Brisbane City Myer Centre on Tuesday 26 March, the film held its viewers in a gory suspense.

Situated on the West Coast of the US, the story follows a family of four who peacefully arrive in the town of Santa Cruz for their summer vacation. However this arrival is met with an uneasiness on the behalf of Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) when it is understood that a terrible event linked to the mother’s past happened in the town’s oceanside theme park. The narrative rapidly unfolds and leaves place to a series of mysterious and terrifying events. It appears that exact lookalikes of the characters have emerged with sole focus to brutally murder their ‘original’ versions and form an inexplicable human chain. It is therefore a fight for survival for the Wilson family, who are left with an ultimatum: to kill or be killed.

The film stars Winston Duke as Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Wilson, Adelaide’s husband, along with their two children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) as the production’s main cast. A cohesive team that allows the spectator to truly believe in the family’s authenticity.

As for Peele’s previous movie Get Out, Us challenges the audience’s expectations and reveals itself to be a cinematic gem in the genre as it mixes multiple layers of explicit and hidden messages. A remarkable plot twist leaves spectators in disbelief as the film closes, creating an impact on the viewer that lasts for hours after.

The film undeniably finds its power in the strong acting skills of its cast, however Peele’s directing and writing are what establish Us as a gruesome depiction of vengeance that leaves the audience somewhat sympathising with both the story’s heroine and villain. It is only too late that we realise we have been misled down an unthinkable path …

A primary example of efficient and suspenseful storytelling, Us will be screening in Australian cinemas, dispersing a sense of terror and heart palpitations along the way.

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