**This post contains spoilers for the movie Us. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen it. Go see it; it’s great.**
When going to see Us, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. So, when I figured out the plot twist early on, I left the theater shocked, but at the same time, the film kept me on the edge of my seat the entire ride. It isn’t that I felt great about myself for figuring it out, but at the same time, I didn’t think I was right from the start.
Here is essentially what happens: Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) goes to Santa Cruz beach as a child, getting lost while her father is playing Whack-A-Mole, and she stumbles into one of those mirror mazes that only exist to terrify us all. While inside the mirror maze, she is met with a girl who looks exactly like her—her doppelgänger.
Throughout the film, there are flashes of Adelaide going back to that instance; she says that she ran as fast as she could away from her doppelgänger, fleeing and escaping with her life and the knowledge that there is someone out there who looks like her that she doesn’t know.
“Oh, the doppelgänger is the one who escaped,” I said as my friend, who had seen the film already, sat next to me.
She responded with a “Just watch the movie,” and so I did, forgetting that I had made that comment, out of fear. When Adelaide said that she ran for her life after the event, I took it as the truth.
So imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the movie to discover that the Adelaide I thought I knew was her doppelgänger all along. The end of Us has left many in shock, wondering how we didn’t see it coming, and when realizing what happened, we just have to accept that the true Adelaide never got to live the life she deserved because of the doppelgängers.
We’re never told who is responsible for them or why they exist, but watching as Red begins a rebellion for these doppelgängers, standing up since her life was taken from her by one of them, it feels strangely empowering (but only once you know the truth about Adelaide Wilson).
Was the movie ruined for me since I guessed the twist? Not at all, in fact.
Jordan Peele does such an incredible job weaving you through this story that everything you think you know, every aspect that could maybe happen, is thrown out the door constantly. He presents a family to us that we think we know—the mother who has suffered, the strong father, and their children (one who doesn’t want to be involved with her family and another who still clings to his parents) struggling to survive this crazy story, but none of it is what we all perceive.
I maybe want to see Us at least four more times to understand everything happening in the movie, and that’s okay. I will willingly hand Jordan Peele my entire bank account.
(image: Universal Pictures)
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