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Horror Fan's Critique of Jordan Peele's Us Goes Viral - Do You Agree With the Hot Take?

Does Jordan Peele's terrifying tale of the Tethered hold up to scrutiny? Or is it supposed to work more as an idea, anyway?

By Josh Weiss

Jordan Peele's terrifying tale of the Tethered is facing fan scrutiny in a viral Reddit post exploring potential plot holes in 2019's Us (now streaming on Peacock), when the story is taken literally.

In particular, user Crafty-Bunch-2675 pointed out a number of perceived inconsistencies regarding the origins, life cycle, and behavior of the malevolent doppelgängers who are ultimately led into revolution by the croaky-voiced Red (Lupita Nyong'o).

Viral Reddit thread critiques Jordan Peele's 2019 horror film Us

"There are way, way too many things about the Tethered that makes zero sense if you think about it even a little, or if you watch the movie a second time," they wrote, later adding: "Like I get it, the Tethered are supposed to mimic the people above, but it makes no sense when you think about it. It's like it's magic."

RELATED: How Get Out Kickstarted Jordan Peele’s Scary Great Horror Career

While Crafty-Bunch-2675's critiques are nothing new (after all, viewers have had similar narrative issues with the film since it opened in theaters), the post does a succinct job of laying out the main problems with the rules the horror flick sets up for itself.

Take the seaside carnival, for instance. "How is it that all the Tethered below just happen to look like the people in the Carnival?" goes the analysis. "It's not like the people live in the carnival. So what happens when a new set of patrons reach the carnival the day after? Do a new set of Tethered magically appear in the facility below?"

Us (2019)

Another notable conundrum centers around Jason (Evan Alex) being able to defeat his double by walking backwards. The clone copies his physical movements, steps straight into a blazing fire, and to his doom. "Why aren't the others able to do this?" Crafty-Bunch asks. "In fact, since Adelaide is a Tethered, too, then technically shouldn't Red have been able to compel her to walk off a cliff?"

Seizing on the original user's "It's like it's magic" sentiment, commenter Big_Schwartz_Energy proposed a nifty workaround: "I really feel like it should have just been MAGIC. Exact same story, but just 'Every person when they’re born has a Shadow Self who suffers. Done!'"

What do you think? Are these valid criticisms of the film or are audiences trying to read too much into it?

Jordan Peele Explains Horror Film Us

Despite the questions among some viewers, critics absolutely loved Us, with the film sitting at 93 percent "Fresh" with largely positive reviews praising the big swing, creepy visuals and ambitious concept. As for Peele, he's made clear in the past that he views the film more as a concept about demonization of the "other" than something that has to fully connect the dots, tackling an idea as much as a grounded horror story in one story.

"I think a lot of people are catching onto the fact that there's a lot of United States/American imagery in this. And the duality of this country and our beliefs and our demons, I think, is on display. But I think 'us' is bigger than that. And I think one of the reasons this movie has an expansiveness is because 'us' is subjective," Peele explained to NPR in 2019. "Everybody thinks of the term 'us' in different ways — it can be 'us' the family, 'us' the town, 'us the country,' 'us' humanity. I think in the simplest form, the very nature of 'us' means there is a 'them,' right? So that is what this movie is about to me, is that: Whatever your 'us' is, we turn 'them' into the enemy, and maybe 'we' are our own worst enemy."

Us is now streaming on Peacock alongside Get Out. Peele's third feature, Nope, is available to purchase from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. His next project (currently untitled) is scheduled for a theatrical bow on December 25, 2024.

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