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Us (2019) theatrical poster

Us is a 2019 American horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, and Tim Heidecker. The film follows Adelaide Wilson (Nyong'o) and her family, who are attacked by a group of menacing doppelgängers.

The project was announced in February 2018, and much of the cast joined in the following months. Peele produced the film alongside Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick (the trio previously having collaborated on Get Out and BlacKkKlansman), as well as Ian Cooper. Filming took place from July to October 2018 in California, mostly in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Santa Cruz.

Us had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 8, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on March 22, 2019, by Universal Pictures. It was a critical and commercial success, grossing $255 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million, and received praise for Peele's screenplay and direction, as well as the musical score and Nyong'o's performance.

Plot[]

In 1986, a young girl named Adelaide “Addy” Thomas watches a commercial for Hands Across America. One night at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, she wanders away from her parents and enters a funhouse, where she encounters a doppelgänger of herself in the house of mirrors. Following the encounter she stops speaking and withdraws from her family.

Years later, an adult Adelaide goes on vacation with her husband, Gabriel "Gabe" Wilson, and their children Zora and Jason. She is apprehensive about the trip, but despite her misgivings, the family meet with their friends Josh and Kitty Tyler and their twin daughters Becca and Lindsey at the beach. On the way there, they witness paramedics taking away the bloody body of an old man holding a sign identical to one she saw on the day of the doppelgänger encounter. Jason later sees someone strangely similar to the old man, standing still with his arms outstretched and hands bloody.

That night, Adelaide tells Gabe about her childhood experience, but she is interrupted when the lights go out. Jason notices a 'family' of four in the driveway, who soon gain entry into the house. Cornering the Wilsons in their own living room, Jason recognizes the intruders as the Wilsons' doppelgängers. They include Pluto (Jason's pyromaniac, facially scarred double), Umbrae (Zora's sadistic double), and Abraham (Gabe's animalistic double). They are led by Red (Adelaide's double), the only one who can speak, albeit in a guttural and raspy voice. Red explains that they are called "the Tethered” as they share a soul with their lookalike counterparts, and they have come to "untether" themselves. The Wilsons are separated and terrorized by their doppelgängers. Jason discovers that Pluto mirrors his actions. After Gabriel kills Abraham, the family escapes.

Meanwhile, the Tyler family is assaulted at home and murdered by their own doppelgängers. The Wilsons arrive and are assaulted as well, but they manage to overpower and kill the Tylers' doubles. They turn on the news and learn that the Tethered have been murdering their equivalents across the city and, after doing so, joining hands to form a massive human chain; surrounding the city so no one can go in or out. The Wilsons decide to drive along the coast and escape to Mexico. While they are leaving, Umbrae attacks the car, and is killed by Zora.

Arriving at the boardwalk, the Wilsons find the townspeople already slaughtered. The road is blocked by a burning car. Jason, realizing it is a trap set by Pluto, orders everyone out of the car. Before Pluto can ignite the family's car, Jason moves, so that when Pluto mirrors him, Pluto walks into the burning car. While the Wilsons are distracted by Pluto burning to death, Red appears and snatches Jason away. Adelaide chases after Red to the funhouse where it all began. She finds a secret entrance that leads to an underground facility overrun by white rabbits, and she finds Red in a classroom.

Red tells Adelaide that "the Tethered" are actually genetic clones created by other humans to control the originals on the surface. When the experiment failed, the Tethered were abandoned underground for generations, mindlessly mimicking the actions of their counterparts and surviving on rabbit meat. After they realized that Red was "different from the others", she spent years organizing them to escape and take vengeance by murdering their counterparts. Red and Adelaide begin to fight, with Red evading and countering all of Adelaide's attacks. When Adelaide allows Red to attack, she impales Red with a fireplace poker, then strangles her to death and breaks her neck. She rescues Jason from a locker, and Jason also rescues one of the rabbits.

While Adelaide drives the family away in the ambulance, she thinks back to the night she first met Red in that hall of mirrors. She remembers that the clone had choked Adelaide unconscious (damaging her larynx, making her voice raspy and guttural-sounding), dragged her underground, handcuffed her there, and returned above ground to usurp Adelaide's place in her life, eventually learning to speak and adjusting to living as a human being—she is the Tethered clone, and Red was the original Adelaide. Jason looks at his mother, who smiles at him.

The Tethered have formed a human chain, replicating the Hands Across America demonstration, stretching out of Santa Cruz and to nearby cities as helicopters hover overhead.

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