Oscar Winner, Director/Writer/Producer Jordan Peele and Lupita Nyong'o at a Q&A of "US", screening at SXSW Film Festival. (photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

Jordan Peele’s Us had its world premiere last week at SXSW 2019 and already critics are hailing it as a refreshing psychological twist on the horror genre.

The film screened to a thunderous audience reception on the opening night of the SXSW Film Festival, but one critic still trying to wrap his head around the narrative is IndieWire contributor Tambay Obenson.

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He took to Instagram to express his feelings after screening Jordan’s follow up to the 2017’s Get Out. Posting a photo of himself staring off camera, Obenson captioned it:  “Me, watching #UsMovie on Friday night (Photo by Cuz). I let it sit for a couple of days, so I could ponder. I can only imagine the pressure Jordan Peele must have been under to top, or at least match the critical and commercial success of “Get Out.” #UsMovie is certainly ambitious, maybe too ambitious, so much that it’s muddled – a pastiche of ideas that don’t really amount to much, in a movie that’s about 30 minutes longer than it needs to be.”

 

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Me, watching #UsMovie on Friday night (Photo by Cuz). I let it sit for a couple of days, so I could ponder. I can only imagine the pressure Jordan Peele must have been under to top, or at least match the critical and commercial success of “Get Out.” #UsMovie is certainly ambitious, maybe too ambitious, so much that it’s muddled – a pastiche of ideas that don’t really amount to much, in a movie that’s about 30 minutes longer than it needs to be. An unpopular opinion, I’m sure. But I’ve had two days to sit on it. @lupitanyongo is undoubtedly the best thing about the movie. She rules for sure! At times, it felt like she was in an entirely different film than the rest of the cast. Winston Duke has a future in comedy. But it’s full of horror movie cliches, like the mysterious person holding up a sign with a seemingly ominous Bible verse, and a lead character entering a hall of mirrors, to name a few. Nothing new here. Claims that it’s a masterpiece of horror cinema are puzzling to me. And can we please stop with the hyperbolic analogs: “Peele is the modern day Hitchcock.” “Peele is the next Spielberg” etc. Let’s just let him be Jordan Peele and grow into whatever he will become. To be sure, I’m still a Jordan Peele fan and I’m looking forward to his reboot of the #TwilightZone franchise. An occasional *miss* can be expected, even among the greats. But do see the film and reach your own conclusions 😊

Considering the film currently sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, Obenson acknowledges that his is “An unpopular opinion.”

“But I’ve had two days to sit on it,” he added, noting that Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is the “best thing about the movie.”

“She rules for sure! At times, it felt like she was in an entirely different film than the rest of the cast. Winston Duke has a future in comedy,” his post continues. “But it’s full of horror movie cliches, like the mysterious person holding up a sign with a seemingly ominous Bible verse, and a lead character entering a hall of mirrors, to name a few. Nothing new here. Claims that it’s a masterpiece of horror cinema are puzzling to me.”

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Us centers on a family’s beach house vacation gone horribly wrong when chaos erupts after shocking visitors arrive uninvited.

Shortly after the film’s SXSW premiere, Peele spoke to Shadow And Act about the styles and settings that influenced the film, such as 1980’s The Shining.

“There are definitely so many I could name…really that Northern California, that Bay Area feel,” Peele said. “But I really love The Shining. You ask me any day of the week what’s my favorite horror movie and 2 out of 3 times, I’ll say The Shining.”

Peele also noted that the hopes Us “spawns its own sub-genre of this socially-conscious horror.”

In the meantime, Obenson would really like folks to “stop with the hyperbolic analogs” such as: “Peele is the modern day Hitchcock.” “Peele is the next Spielberg” etc. Let’s just let him be Jordan Peele and grow into whatever he will become,” he writes.

But don’t get it twisted, the Us critic wants y’all to know that he is “still a Jordan Peele fan and I’m looking forward to his reboot of the #TheTwilightZone franchise” but, he explains, “an occasional *miss* can be expected, even among the greats. But do see the film and reach your own conclusions.”