One of the most epic rebranding in cinematic history, Jordan Peele’s next outing. Yay for quality horror… I say as I just saw CLIMAX.
The story looks like it’s about a normal family who suddenly find themselves getting stalked by scary versions of themselves.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Lupita Nyong’o (BLACK PANTHER , Star Wars AWAKENS  and LAST JEDI , QUEEN OF KATWE , and the upcoming STAR WARS EPISODE IX ), Winston Duke (AVENGERS: INFINITY , and upcoming films AVENGERS: ENDGAME  and WONDERLAND ), Shahadi Wright Joseph (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming THE LION KING ), Evan Alex (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of), and Elisabeth Moss (OLD MAN ).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing, we have Jordan Peele, known for GET OUT (2017). Composing the score is Michael Abels, known for GET OUT. The cinematographer is Mike Gioulakis, known for GLASS (2019), SPLIT (2017), and the upcoming UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (2019). Finally, the editor is Nicholas Monsour, known for ACTION POINT (2018) and KEANU (2016).
Overall, this looks awesome. But having been on IMDb, some things have been spoiled for me. Not the reviews or anything, but… the cast. Anyway, I think everyone should avoid IMDb until you’ve seen this movie. I’m also going to throw out a twist prediction. <<<PREDICTION>>> [ The freaky people are the real versions of the nice and wholesome family. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but this is what I’m guessing. ] <<<END PREDICTION>>>
This is my honest opinion of: US
In 1986, young Adelaide (Madison Curry) experienced a traumatic event that she was never able to speak about to her parents, or really ever again.
In the present day, now married to her husband Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and their two children, teen daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and young son Jason (Evan Alex), they return to her childhood home for a summer retreat, despite how uncomfortable that she is about it. After some mishaps, Adelaide says that she wants to leave, explaining to Gabe her past. However, they don’t get a chance to leave before they’re stalked and their home is invaded by red-clad, violent versions of themselves.
You know what? This didn’t work for me. I am not on board with the final product. Sorry, 100 percent on RottenTomatoes, I do not agree. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that this is a bad movie, or certainly a poorly made one, but I definitely feel disappointed.
Now, I’m probably going to sound like I enjoy this movie more than I don’t based on the first half. Because, really, I was more or less on board with the characters. This is a loving, but realistic family. A dorky and fun-loving dad, a phone-obsessed teenager, an odd-ball quirky kid-son, sometimes they don’t always see eye to eye, but there is a legit connection there. If there’s anything that Peele does well, it’s creating characters that feel like real people. Although I didn’t quite get a grasp on who the Tyler family was to them. Like, was it just Gabe and Josh (Tim Heidecker) that were friends and the wives are just interacting by association? Or are they actually friends too? But, that’s not the biggest issue I have with the movie, but we’ll get there.
The movie does do a great job of building up suspense and an air of mystery. People start dying around them, or stand around with bloodied hands, it does keep you guessing. Even when the craziness starts, it’s properly built up without cheap jump scares. Or at least, nothing that feels out of place and overly forced like most horror films. Even Red’s (Nyong’o) little fairy tale had an air of creepy mystery to it. Then making Abraham (Duke) beat the shit out of Gabe, forcing Zora to run away while Umbrae (Joseph) gives her a head-start with the intention to chase her, and making Jason play with Pluto (Alex), you are constantly wondering what the endgame is since they don’t seem to be all that interested in killing… until other people start dying, but anyone can argue that’s to serve how unpredictable these “tethered” people are.
Now, from here on in the movie becomes pretty hard to talk about without hitting spoilers. So, unless you’ve seen the movie, don’t read ahead. Just know that this movie is a weak 3/5 for me.
So the ultimate goal of the tethered is to take over the world and… I don’t know, join hands and sing Kumbaya, or something, but the intention is to kill all of the originals. We also learn that Adelaide is actually one of the tethered and replaced the real one in the fun house all those years ago. More on this in awhile. So… if the goal is to kill everyone, why don’t they just kill the Wilson family? Okay, in a sense, I can kind of understand it. Red is different for obvious reasons, but… why fuck with them? The Tyler family got axed off immediately as their tethered appeared, so why not the Wilsons? They had ample opportunities to die, but because of horror tropes, they need their intimidation to outweigh their practicality.
Also, more on the big twist… what the hell happened to their memories?! Did… Adelaide somehow convince herself that she was the original after spending years as the daughter of the real parents? I don’t see these people as the types that forget who they are. And as for Red, she forgot that she was the original and adopted the persona of a tethered person? I don’t know, this seemed like a stretch to me. Even so, it’s clear that Adelaide remembers who she originally was, so why isn’t she… I don’t know, happy about the invasion? I just feel like there’s no reason to have their backgrounds suddenly changed. I understood that Red was different because she was likely the first of the tethered who actually encountered a real person. Her thought process what jumped, a new way of thinking and a new reality that had otherwise not been visibly present, was now present. Hence why she’s special and made up a religion that the other tethered went along with. But… throwing in the twist that they were actually the opposite characters all along… I feel like given the ultimate story and presented information over the course of the movie, this was unnecessary.
And yes, before anyone accuses me of trying to pretend that I did in fact see the movie before writing my initial impressions, I merely guessed at the twist. I was only partially right, in that it was Adelaide that wasn’t the original person. Guys, I played the Mass Effect trilogy, the Dragon Age games, and MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA (2017), all of which feature a “copies of the original” enemies. You can’t throw a detail like that in a story without me guessing that someone isn’t who they’re supposed to be.
Overall, I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I wanted Jordan Peele to hit me with craziness that would have me talkin’ to my horror-savvy friends and co-workers until the end of days. Sadly, I got a movie that wasn’t all that scary, didn’t feel that well-thought-out, and… ugh, I hate to say this word when describing a Jordan Peele movie, but… boring. It’s not a poorly made film, it’s not poorly acted, the humor definitely comes off well, but ultimately… nah, I didn’t care for this one. Still, in a weird way, I’m still recommending it. It’s a different kind of movie and certainly the mass majority seem to like it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Give it a shot, and maybe you’ll get more out of it than I did. But as I said, I didn’t get much out of it.
My honest rating for US: a weak 3/5
Next week’s reviews: