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Old 03-22-2019, 04:48 AM
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"US" - Jordan Peele Movie [possible SPOILERS]


Partially Kubrickian, partially Spielbergian, a little Ramiri-esque, but entirely original, IMO. 8/10.

Spoilers and Questions:

SPOILER:
1) We could see from the opening credits with the fertile rabbits that as we fade back, there seems to be one grey and one black rabbit. So not all the clones or "tethers" are perfect, I suppose.

2) WTH is with the "Tethers"?? Do they exist because of all of our locked-up rage and bad memories have faded? I thought it was most terrifying to imagine being attacked my me in my own home by myself who seems to not enjoy talking but slashing.So in Adelaide's case, she was weak, so she let her bad side come out only to be terrorized by her better side explaining why she was paranoid about going back to the beach-- she'd be found out.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:58 AM
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MEH! Missed window. Also, for references:

SPOILER:
3) The number 11, as in Bible verse 11:11, the clock 11:11, Michael Jackson Thriller T-Shirt [ THRI11ER ], etc.

4) Doesn't the Thriller video have the same ending as the film??

5) Pluto/Jason - The clone seemed to be less resisting than the others when they mimicked each other like the Marx brothers. So from that, were all of the clones/Tethers trying to release themselves and expose Adelaide/Red?
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:40 PM
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I saw it this afternoon. Very good, but it's deep. At the credit roll, I overheard the guy who was sitting next to me say, "I'm about to go on google!", which was exactly what I was thinking. I'm sure other folks will be able to pick up all the symbolism from a mile away, but I'm terrible at stuff like that. Now that I have lurked on some discussion boards and read some commentary, I'm excited to watch the movie again.

SPOILER:
"We're Americans" should have been the first clue that Peele's movie wasn't just about evil killer clones. That clue was almost too on the nose, but I still somehow missed it. As well as all the class/materialism stuff. Like, contrast the good fight of Adelaide's middle class family versus the stupid deaths of the more privileged Tyler family. The message: those without privilege have no choice but to fight, middle class people know they are precariously perched and will fight those who try to take away what they have, and the rich are clueless fools who don't even want to see what's going on outside of their bubbles until it's way too late. Another thing that is obvious, but flew past me was that the clones were superior to their aboveground counterparts. The teenaged girl's clone was the superior runner. The little boy's clone was the superior pyromaniac. So it makes sense that Adelaide is the better dancer. The message: those without privilege have all kinds of talents and abilities, but it doesn't matter. They will always be confronted with an escalator that only goes down, not up.


This is definitely the kind of movie that's more enjoyable to watch with a room full of black folks, I must say. There were some scenes that I probably would have yawned through if I had been watching at home, but the emotional reactions of the people around me in the theater were contagious. I think there were a couple of moments when I even shouted at the screen.
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Old 03-23-2019, 08:46 PM
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I really enjoyed this movie. It felt more like a table than sci fi since the concept kind of falls apart when you think it through but I didn't care. I also loved the ending. It was almost like a 70s movie in tone.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:15 AM
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This is definitely a film I want to see a second time to catch all the things I didn’t even know to look for the first time around! I really enjoyed it, though I’m not sure it entirely sticks the landing. It’s the sort of thing where if you actually try to figure out the reason for certain things, it makes no sense.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:54 AM
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Here's a puzzling thing. As far as I've seen online, audiences like this movie. But the Cinemascore in a mere B. For the genre, that's a really low score. (You wouldn't believe the trash that gets a B+.)

While it has happened a few times lately that many horror films well-reviewed by critics are not liked by audiences, this is a bit different.

Who are these people who don't think much of the film but I don't see posting around about it????
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:45 PM
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So here's the debate about the ending. I'm not hiding it because the subject says there could be spoilers so look away of you haven't seen it yet.




So did the main character know the entire time she was a tether who switched and was hiding it or had she blocked it from her memory until the end? My feeling is she knew all along but I could buy and argument for the latter.

Last edited by Quimby; 03-24-2019 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:44 PM
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So here's the debate about the ending. I'm not hiding it because the subject says there could be spoilers so look away of you haven't seen it yet.
So did the main character know the entire time she was a tether who switched and was hiding it or had she blocked it from her memory until the end? My feeling is she knew all along but I could buy and argument for the latter.

Some reviewers have said that she is uncovering repressed memories through the film -- that she's forgotten where she came from. (One suggested she doesn't really remember until Red whistles "Itsy Bitsy Spider" while dying, prompting Adelaide's transformation.) I didn't notice any evidence for it? She clearly remembers her 1986 experience, for instance. My first thought that she had switched was in the early scene where she's lying on the couch and just stares blankly at the spider crawling on the coffee table. (I then forgot about that and was surprised.)
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:47 PM
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Enjoyed the movie. Very rich textually, and just great acting all around. Enough humor to keep things from getting way too dark. And a central metaphor that's just ambiguous enough to keep you thinking.



Fun fact: the movie they're filming at the Santa Cruz boardwalk that day in 1986 is Lost Boys. Jordan Peele confirmed this.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
SPOILER:
1) We could see from the opening credits with the fertile rabbits that as we fade back, there seems to be one grey and one black rabbit. So not all the clones or "tethers" are perfect, I suppose.
I'll leave my answer out of a spoiler box.




I noticed the different colors too! But I don't think the rabbits are involved in the cloning process? They are a food source for the Tethered. (Red talks about eating "rabbit -- raw.")



Now they also make a good metaphor for the Tethered: caged, then finally uncaged. Peele talks in this interview about having a pet rabbit when he was a boy, and how he feels guilty that it never went outside. (I wonder if there was a reason none of the rabbits followed the Tethered up to the topside world?)
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Quimby View Post
So here's the debate about the ending. I'm not hiding it because the subject says there could be spoilers so look away of you haven't seen it yet.




So did the main character know the entire time she was a tether who switched and was hiding it or had she blocked it from her memory until the end? My feeling is she knew all along but I could buy and argument for the latter.
That's a good question. I think she knew all along deep-down, but I don't know if I can point to anything as "proof". The only clue I can think of is that when she returned to the haunted house in pursuit of Jason, she didn't seem to have much trouble finding her way to the tunnels.

I also think the kind of fear she had about returning to the beach was a clue. I mean, yeah, anyone would have been afraid to go back to the place where they saw their doppelganger. But in the bedroom scene with Gabe when she's looking through the window, she mentions feeling like she's being pursued. Now, I remember thinking to myself when she said this, "You're being hysterical, woman! Where is the evidence that she's been pursuing you?!" And there wasn't any evidence at least in that point of the story. But when you have a guilty conscious, you're always afraid that karma's going to get you. So in retrospect her paranoia actually does make sense.

And now that I think about it, the rage of Red (the real Adelaide) makes sense. She didn't spark the killfest out of psychopathetic evil, which is what we're led to think is the case at the beginning. It was understandable rage that pushed her. Any of us would have wanted to kill the person who had usurped our privileged existence. The other killer clones might have been psycho crazies, but Red wasn't just killing just to be killing. She had legitimate beef.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Quimby View Post
So here's the debate about the ending. I'm not hiding it because the subject says there could be spoilers so look away of you haven't seen it yet.




So did the main character know the entire time she was a tether who switched and was hiding it or had she blocked it from her memory until the end? My feeling is she knew all along but I could buy and argument for the latter.
I thought she knew the whole time. She's uneasy as they travel there, feels "pursued". When their doppelgängers show up, she tells her daughter to put on her shoes. Like she knows she'll be chased.

She then seems to direct what the family will do. "Get in the car. " "Drive this way..." stuff like that.

Plus, wasn't it mentioned that after her encounter with the mirrors as a kid, she didn't talk, needed counseling?? That was Red learning to be Adelaide. My guess, but I could be misremembering if she had counseling after being totally spooked. (I was. I was always afraid of one of the mirrors moving by itself as a kid. I yelled, "Shit" pretty loud.)
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:29 PM
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Missed window: Yes, I put "possible spoilers" so as more people see it they don't have to always click the little box. I saw it early Thursday night.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:28 PM
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The only clue I can think of is that when she returned to the haunted house in pursuit of Jason, she didn't seem to have much trouble finding her way to the tunnels.
Great point. In fact, unlike the "real" little girl we see in the opening scene, she's not disoriented in the funhouse at all. She finds the exit downwards very easily. I wonder if she's been back? (Doubtful, given her trepidation about traveling to the beach.)

Quote:
I also think the kind of fear she had about returning to the beach was a clue. I mean, yeah, anyone would have been afraid to go back to the place where they saw their doppelganger. But in the bedroom scene with Gabe when she's looking through the window, she mentions feeling like she's being pursued. Now, I remember thinking to myself when she said this, "You're being hysterical, woman! Where is the evidence that she's been pursuing you?!" And there wasn't any evidence at least in that point of the story. But when you have a guilty conscious, you're always afraid that karma's going to get you. So in retrospect her paranoia actually does make sense.
Yup!

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Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
I thought she knew the whole time. She's uneasy as they travel there, feels "pursued". When their doppelgängers show up, she tells her daughter to put on her shoes. Like she knows she'll be chased.

She then seems to direct what the family will do. "Get in the car. " "Drive this way..." stuff like that.
Yup again! She was paranoid because she had a guilty conscience. I'm convinced now. How to integrate that into the overall metaphor, I'm still not sure ...

One easter eggy thing I haven't seen brought up here that I dug: the two Black Flag t-shirts we see (on the 1986 Whack-A-Mole carny and on one of Liz Moss's twin daughters) have the 11:11 motif repeated visually in the band's famous logo.

One parallel with Get Out: In that movie, the mad scientists' technique sends your soul/consciousness down to the "sunken place," where you are a helpless observer as someone else controls your body. Obvious parallels with Us here -- possibly hints of a "shared universe."
The whole thing also reminds me of my layman's knowledge of vodun/voodoo, specifically of how a worshipper is "ridden" by a loa. Which I know next-to-nothing about, except what I picked up from William Gibson's Sprawl novels.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:37 PM
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Another thing that came to me long after I watched the movie:

Remember the scene where they are headed to the beach and they are listening to that "Five on it" song? Adelaide snaps out the rhythm for the benefit of her son. It struck me immediately that she was snapping on the on beats, rather than the off beat like 99.9% of black people and hip-hop fans would. I know this seems like a trivial point, but my mother (who I talked to last night) noticed the same thing. Even though we hadn't watched the movie together, we both had the same thought when Adelaide started snapping, "Girl, get on the beat!" (Which is black folks' way of saying you ain't got no rhythm...I know cuz I hear it alot). I gotta think this was Jordan's way of signaling to the audience that there is something "off" with Adelaide. She isn't really one of us because she is over here teaching her kids how to jam on the 1 and 3, like they're listening to polka music.

However, this does not explain why Gabe didn't set her straight. Maybe he is in the 0.1% of black people who ain't got no rhythm.

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Old 03-25-2019, 05:33 PM
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Just saw this movie.

I'm really not into horror flicks at all, but I saw this because of what I heard about the superb direction. It was certainly riveting, especially the performance by Lupita Nyong'o, whom I'd never seen before. Once, I even had to check my pulse, because I wasn't sure whether my heart was still beating. And about the ending: I think her memory of being a tether was repressed. She had to do this in order to survive as a human, but now and then a sort of half-memory came back to haunt her. And that explains the ferocity with which she fought Red; she was fighting for her life, on more than one level. But how did she have a memory of being the little girl, before meeting the tether in the fun house?

Funniest dialog: "Call the police!"
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:42 PM
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It struck me immediately that she was snapping on the on beats, rather than the off beat like 99.9% of black people and hip-hop fans would.
...a lot of people noticed this and pointed it out when they showed this scene in the first trailer. But I couldn't see it myself because I was mentally snapping the same way as Adelaide. So either I've got no rhythm, or I'm a tether. The former would be preferable.
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:44 AM
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...a lot of people noticed this and pointed it out when they showed this scene in the first trailer. But I couldn't see it myself because I was mentally snapping the same way as Adelaide. So either I've got no rhythm, or I'm a tether. The former would be preferable.
Muh!! Tetherer!!!

Last edited by Locrian; 03-26-2019 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:21 AM
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I saw this last night and I'm all over the place with it.

I didn't dislike it but my sense of "what was that supposed to be?" comes a bit close to overshadowing all the things I really liked about it.
If this didn't have Jordan Peele's name on it, frankly I'd think it was a straight up parody, a la the Scary Movie franchise, where it's just mish mosh of horror movie cliches. But, I think JP is far too smart and original for that so I'm left trying to make sense of the creative choices he made.

The violence is, to me, excessive and downright goofy, such as the kind you find in a certain genre of horror. And that genre is "bad". That's on purpose, right?
Ditto the annoying jump scares that were mostly in the first act. Cheap and lazy film making and far below what I would expect from JP. But again, I think that was part of the parody element (?)

I just really don't know how I'm intended to view this or what the viewer is meant to take away from it.

It kept me interested the whole time except for maybe the scenes down in the tunnels , which I found overlong (at some point I just started thinking/ worrying about the rabbits). The performances were top notch, particularly Lupita's. That girl plays freaky like nobody's business!

Today I'm still digesting it and will look around online to get some others' perspective / clarification.

As for the ending:

SPOILER:
Are we meant to understand that the son realizes his mom has been a tether all along?


Also, I think a cool ending would have been
SPOILER:
We see the family back on the crowded beach,mirroring the scene near the beginning, with them walking among the other beach goers. Then an overhead shot pulls back to reveal that unlike everyone else around them, they cast no shadows
.
No, I'm not arrogant enough to suppose I can make a better movie than Jordan Peele, it's just a fun imagining.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:44 PM
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It didn’t occur to me till the end that the bloody handed guy on the beach standing in place was the tether of the guy holding the 11:11 sign we saw being loaded into the ambulence. He must have been one of the first to kill his double and then wait in place for the hands across America chain.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:46 PM
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...just mish mosh of horror movie cliches. But, I think JP is far too smart and original for that so I'm left trying to make sense of the creative choices he made.... But again, I think that was part of the parody element (?)
I don't think it's a parody so much as (what the kids these days call) a remix. Peele is a pop culture guy, from what I saw on Key and Peele, and he clearly made choices to relate this movie to the 1980s generally (Hands Across America, Goonies, Black Flag, etc.), 1980s horror movies in particular (The Shining, Lost Boys), other stuff maybe -- oh, the "Thriller" video, at least!, and as you say to horror as a genre. But he's putting his own spin on genre cliches, and I think trying to subvert them (sometimes this is done through parody, but I don't think always). I think he's doing something similar with the Reagan years -- what if, all that time, this weird shit was going on underground?

I actually found the violence mostly the opposite of goofy, even when it was cartoonish. Part of that was my emotional investment in the main family -- I didn't want to see them hurt. Also, he had each antagonist/tethered use a different style of horror violence: brute force for the dad, fire for the son, fierce speed and demonic grinning for the daughter, and psychological torture for the mom. It didn't get old, to me.

(And one more thing: the bits of goofiness were welcome comic relief, and a chance to decompress. That's just good horror moviemaking, IMHO, though YMMV.)
Quote:
I just really don't know how I'm intended to view this or what the viewer is meant to take away from it.
You're talking about the violence/horror cliches here, but I'd extend the statement to the whole movie. I think Us has a much higher level of ambiguity than Get Out, but I liked that: it works on a lot of different levels. Downside: doesn't work 100% on any one level (that may be overstatement, but you get what I'm saying).

Quote:
The performances were top notch, particularly Lupita's. That girl plays freaky like nobody's business!
Yeah, she was especially great, but all the leads and main supporting actors were great, too. I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth Moss generally, but I thought she was great here.

Quote:
As for the ending:
SPOILER:
Are we meant to understand that the son realizes his mom has been a tether all along?
Yeah, that's clearly implied as early as when she finds him in the locker and he is reluctant to go with her. (It's the ending of "Thriller," too!)

Quote:
Also, I think a cool ending would have been
SPOILER:
We see the family back on the crowded beach,mirroring the scene near the beginning, with them walking among the other beach goers. Then an overhead shot pulls back to reveal that unlike everyone else around them, they cast no shadows
.
No, I'm not arrogant enough to suppose I can make a better movie than Jordan Peele, it's just a fun imagining.
Well, something irreversible has clearly happened to a lot of the "real humans," so that would be adding more ambiguity. It would be super cool, visually, though! I like it.
Someone on Twitter pointed out that the shot of the family crossing the beach with their shadows is very reminiscent of this NatGeo photo of camels in the desert: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/shadow-caravan/
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:36 PM
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Minor quibble - the flashback at the beginning is 1986, then we flash to "current day". Let's assume that Adelaide was aged 10 years old in the flashback. My math says that would make her 43? Yeah, no. Little things like this just mess with me in a movie.

The kids were really really good.

Also, Winston Duke should be in every movie made, just all of them.
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:48 AM
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Minor quibble - the flashback at the beginning is 1986, then we flash to "current day". Let's assume that Adelaide was aged 10 years old in the flashback. My math says that would make her 43? Yeah, no. Little things like this just mess with me in a movie.

The kids were really really good.

Also, Winston Duke should be in every movie made, just all of them.
The little girl looked about six or seven to me.

Plus, black don't crack.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:49 PM
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Saw it just the other day with my wife. I very much admire Jordan Peele but my wife and I both liked Get Out better than Us. Us is quite creepy, though.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:44 PM
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Minor quibble - the flashback at the beginning is 1986, then we flash to "current day". Let's assume that Adelaide was aged 10 years old in the flashback. My math says that would make her 43? Yeah, no. Little things like this just mess with me in a movie......
I was doing the math, too. But I thought the little girl at the beginning of the movie was about 6 or 7. That would put the adult her at about 39-40. Her teenage daughter looked around 14-15. It all fits.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:46 PM
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This is definitely a film I want to see a second time to catch all the things I didn’t even know to look for the first time around! I really enjoyed it, though I’m not sure it entirely sticks the landing. It’s the sort of thing where if you actually try to figure out the reason for certain things, it makes no sense.
Agreed. I don't think the story is supposed to make literal sense. It is some kind of allegory, although I haven't figured out what yet.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:52 PM
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So here's the debate about the ending. I'm not hiding it because the subject says there could be spoilers so look away of you haven't seen it yet.




So did the main character know the entire time she was a tether who switched and was hiding it or had she blocked it from her memory until the end? My feeling is she knew all along but I could buy and argument for the latter.
My take is that she had blocked out the memory. She seemed to have some kind of dawning realization/remembrance in the final scene driving away in the EMT vehicle. If she knew all along, then I don't think she would have been so mystified when the doppelgangers first showed up in the driveway of the vacation home.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:57 PM
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Another thing that came to me long after I watched the movie:

Remember the scene where they are headed to the beach and they are listening to that "Five on it" song? Adelaide snaps out the rhythm for the benefit of her son. It struck me immediately that she was snapping on the on beats, rather than the off beat like 99.9% of black people and hip-hop fans would. I know this seems like a trivial point, but my mother (who I talked to last night) noticed the same thing. Even though we hadn't watched the movie together, we both had the same thought when Adelaide started snapping, "Girl, get on the beat!" (Which is black folks' way of saying you ain't got no rhythm...I know cuz I hear it alot). I gotta think this was Jordan's way of signaling to the audience that there is something "off" with Adelaide. She isn't really one of us because she is over here teaching her kids how to jam on the 1 and 3, like they're listening to polka music.......
This scene 100% went over my head; so (seriously) thanks for explaining it.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:05 PM
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...... As for the ending:

Are we meant to understand that the son realizes his mom has been a tether all along? ......
I'm not quite sure how to read that final scene between mom and son as they drive away in the EMT vehicle. I think he's starting to guess her true nature, but I'm not sure why he'd be able to figure it out any better than anyone else in the family. Does it have something to do with his being the youngest? Also, he figured out pretty quickly that his doppelganger would mimic his own movements. (And used it cleverly to their advantage in the fire scene.)

BTW: does anyone know how the son figured out that sitting in the car was a trap?
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:12 PM
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It didn’t occur to me till the end that the bloody handed guy on the beach standing in place was the tether of the guy holding the 11:11 sign we saw being loaded into the ambulence. He must have been one of the first to kill his double and then wait in place for the hands across America chain.
Nice catch, I think you nailed it!

Interestingly, the Jeremiah 11:11 guy turned out to have been right all along. The end of the world was coming, and he was the first victim.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:37 AM
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I just saw this over the weekend. I loved Get Out, but this one was not very good at all. As mentioned above, it was full of cliches (whether intentional or not). Also, by going with the scientific explanation over supernatural it opened itself up to scrutiny such as:

- Who's paying the electric bill and performing maintenance for the underground lair that looks nicer and better kept than most homes?
- If the tethered are mimicking their counterparts all the time, who are tending the rabbits?
- What are the rabbits eating?
- How did non-verbal people communicate a (hinted at) nation-wide plan?
- How did 300+ million "people" go unnoticed an escalator ride below ground?
- Too many more to mention...

I did like the twist at the end though, but not enough to salvage the 2 hours of my life I wanted back.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:04 PM
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My daughter spent $19.99 of my money buying it on Amazon Prime, so I sat and watched it with her. Interesting/disturbing flick.

When the Tethered started showing up in the Hands Across America homage, my first thought was — okay, my first thought was Hands Across America (JP had telegraphed it, after all), but my second thought was “Boy that Christo guy’s really outdone himself this time.”

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 06-16-2019 at 02:04 PM.
  #33  
Old 06-16-2019, 02:16 PM
kaylasdad99 is offline
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Location: Anaheim, CA
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On a more serious note, was there any kind of intended parallel between Adelaide having given up dancing, and her daughter having recently lost interest in running?
  #34  
Old 06-18-2019, 02:49 AM
LLCoolL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglachel View Post
I just saw this over the weekend. I loved Get Out, but this one was not very good at all. As mentioned above, it was full of cliches (whether intentional or not). Also, by going with the scientific explanation over supernatural it opened itself up to scrutiny such as:

- Who's paying the electric bill and performing maintenance for the underground lair that looks nicer and better kept than most homes?
- If the tethered are mimicking their counterparts all the time, who are tending the rabbits?
- What are the rabbits eating?
- How did non-verbal people communicate a (hinted at) nation-wide plan?
- How did 300+ million "people" go unnoticed an escalator ride below ground?
- Too many more to mention...

I did like the twist at the end though, but not enough to salvage the 2 hours of my life I wanted back.
To quote myself from earlier in this thread: "I don't think the story is supposed to make literal sense. It is some kind of allegory, although I haven't figured out what yet."

Agreed it's not as good as Get Out, but I enjoyed Us.
  #35  
Old 06-19-2019, 02:10 PM
Ellis Dee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Funniest dialog: "Call the police!"
For me it was "Hide-a-key? What kind of white shit is that?"

Second was the argument about who had more kills. I was dying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCoolL View Post
I'm not sure why he'd be able to figure it out any better than anyone else in the family.
When they decide to leave the white family's house, but then mom has to go back in to find the keys, after a few minutes the son follows inside to see what's taking so long.

He sees the tail end of the fight where mom finishes off the twin who wasn't dead yet. Mom goes pretty feral right there, with cockroach-style movements and mannerisms (and that weird scream) that signifies the others. He looks at her in terror, thinking she's an other, but then she speaks normally so he lets his guard down.

That initial suspicion is what primes him to realize she was always an other. At least, that's my read.

Last edited by Ellis Dee; 06-19-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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