Movie review: 'Us'

Brad Keefe

If you've read my reviews over the years, I hope you've noticed that I don't do spoilers. But if you're still the type that won't read a review for those reasons, here's what you want to know about “Us.”

Writer-director Jordan Peele has totally done it again. He's no one-hit wonder. He's wonderful. “Us” is on par with “Get Out.”

So now that you're sufficiently hyped, you can read on, because, seriously, no spoilers ahead.

After the breakout success of “Get Out,” a wildly inventive and effective horror movie that managed to be entertaining and full of sharp social commentary, Peele could have made pretty much anything he wanted.

And what he wanted to do was make another horror film that's as creepy and effective as it is smart.

Adelaide (Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o) is haunted by an unexplained incident from her childhood that's carried over to paranoia in her adult life.

She has a beautiful family, with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex).

But a trip to the family summer home in Santa Cruz, California, and a series of strange coincidences start to bring Adelaide's childhood fears to nightmarish reality.

If you've seen that creepy-ass trailer for “Us,” I'll say that not only does it do a good job of not giving too much away, it may not even do the movie justice.

Peele's love of the horror he grew up with is again evident. His next cinematic project is a reboot of “Candyman,” and “Us” shares a vibe with the best of '80s horror.

After a tone-setting opening, Peele spends some time building around a warm and loving family… before sending them to hell, of course.

“Us” is an absolute blast in a theater setting, full of audible “oh, hell no” moments that will give you shudders days later.

And, once again, Peele injects just enough humor to add to the rollercoaster ride.

The uniformly great cast is spearheaded by Nyong'o's performance — not typically the sort that would get her another Oscar nod, but worthy of it.

A few minor knocks, like some pacing hiccups, land “Us” at four stars rather than five, but that's only on first viewing. Fortunately, the film includes touches of the allegory and social commentary that made “Get Out” so brilliant the second or third time through.

I'll let you know if my rating changes after I see it again this weekend — hopefully with the rest of America. Jordan Peele is now officially the god of modern American horror.

Opens Thursday

4 stars out of 5