Us the Horror/Thriller movie of 2019 making its debut last Friday, March 22, 2019. Jordan Peele has created a brand new thriller nightmare, involving the Wilson family of four. Young Adelaide returns to her traumatic experience on Santa Cruz. Where she first encounters her “double” and life hasn’t been the same since.
I will try to interpret the movie’s message as best as I can. It’s only difficult because the movie’s ending is so open-ended and abstract, the meaning becomes vaguer.
If you haven’t already watched all the YouTube videos about the movie’s ending, here’s a recap:
First off, the movie’s whole plot is based on the summer night in Santa Cruz 1986, when young Adelaine Wilson wanders off. She finds herself in some sort of building that claims it can help you “find yourself”.
So the young girl decides to go in, where she finds herself trapped and faces (for the first time) her doppelganger double “Red” and is then followed by a loud scream.
This exact scene has been repeated over and over again throughout the film. It’s only at the ending where the audience can finally see the full story.
Young Adelaide has screamed because she and “Red” have switched places so that the clone can live above ground, leaving poor (Real) Adelaide underground, where she will spend the rest of her entire childhood in.
Therefore thus said the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they will not be able to escape…
– Jeremiah 11:11
Besides the perfect symmetry of the elevens, the Jeremiah book discusses how God would not save those Jews who have worshipped idols along the way, ultimately the cause of Jerusalem being destroyed.
Tieing to the film of how the evil isn’t the tethered, but our fear towards them. Explaining how the humans above ground take many things for granted, such as sunlight and food. However, it comes to our own downfall that God won’t protect us anymore because of our sin; Worshipping idols rather than God, such as technology and money.
The rabbits represent the first testing of clones in both the beginning scenes and the end scene.
Background story: The experiment was told as the government had created clones of every person in the US (another Easter egg of the title) to be able to control the ones above. However, which much research was done for a year, the government realizes that they can’t duplicate the soul, making them mindless zombies, or “shadow” monsters as they couldn’t even speak. So the government decided to abandon the project and left them underground with no purpose. Thus further explaining why the “tethers” have used scissors to cut their duplicate’s throat, as they envy their ability to speak.
So the rabbits in a way represent the members of the tether as they were locked in the beginning but left free and uncaged during the end scenes just as the tethers have escaped into the above world.
I also find it hilarious that Jordan Peele, himself, is actually afraid of rabbits, and doesn’t understand how others like it. Making more sense of why he put them as the demonic creatures in the film.
When Adelaide first encountered her clone they both whistle to the tune of the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” nursery rhyme and “Red” is found whistling the tune yet again before her final moments alive.
But, what do the lyrics even mean? Why would Jordan Peele choose this exact song?
After rereading through the song many times, I now believe that the spider may represent “Red” or her persona.
The water sprout, being like the sewage (which in the film, the news article had claimed that’s where the tethered arises from) and all the tethered were able to climb into the world above and kill their doubles.
The movie Us begins and ends both in a car ride with the family. But so does Get Out. What I find interesting about this, is that car rides represent the momentum of life, so driving a car may represent where your life is going.
In the present day, when Adelaide and “Red” meet again, she tells her to put on handcuffs which can symbolically represent how they are somehow connected to each other.
Strangely, Jason who constantly wears the Chewbacca mask is almost similar to how the Jason from the Friday the Thirteenth series also wears a mask.
Also Jordan Peele, the director, also stated how he made tons of references to the 80s. Which is clearly shown, such as the Michael Jackson, one-handed glove to the Hands Across America Movement.
Adelaide is from English, Italian, and Portuguese origins meaning he kind and noble.
Now here’s the interesting part, although the tethered can’t speak, they seem to have names, like “Red” has named them or something.
Pluto is considered a dwarf planet, farthest from the sun’s light and is in complete darkness. Which makes sense as his clone is obsessed with fire and light.
He had even burned his skin from being too close to the flames, as any other kid seeing light for the first time. Also, Pluto is also the Roman god of the underworld or otherwise known as Hades.
Umbrae is the darkest shadow during an eclipse, making total sense as “Red” has even referred to themselves as “the shadow”.
Abraham is of Hebrew origin, meaning “father of many”. Although his real name is “Gabe” (in the real world) meaning “strength of God” as he was one of the archangels who delivered the news to Mary about having Jesus.
Examples of Symmetry
The Hands Across America
The Tyler Twin Daughter
Perfect symmetry, meaning identical or complete opposites. Which adds to the paradox of life where the symmetry may represent both our good and bad sides within ourselves.
Possible Ending Explanations
*Clones don’t know they are clones
Meaning either one of them could be the original one. For example, the audience would truly know who was the original Adelaide and who was the clone version.
So ultimately the perspective on who was really “Red” and who was real Adelaide is still a bit confusing.
With may fans viewing the movie as Fake Adelaide has won the battle and others saying that it had been “Red” or the original, real Adelaide won.
Either way, the movie does explore the many perceptions we have of ourselves.
Not being able to see ourselves in our clones. Claiming that they are completely different people, when in fact they had been us this whole entire time.
*Jason = Pluto
Another theory states that not only was it Adelaide who had switched bodies with the above world, but Jason too.
This makes sense, as Jason is seen looking at his own mother quite oddly. Especially in the first car ride scene where he and his mom are trying to get in rhythm with the song.
Even during the final clips of the film, where “Adelaide” kills her double, Jason still isn’t sure whether or not that is truly his mother.
One possible interpretation of the film may represent that we may perceive others in a particular way. As they don’t belong here, but in reality, they are just like “us” and don’t deserve all the hate.
Another states how we all live with two different personas within us. One for good and the other bad. If we let the bad win, then it will bring the end of all humanity.
Next, this interpretation explains how we fear the outsider, people who are different than us. But we shouldn’t because it may bring our downfall. Leading ourselves to be the biggest threat and enemy to our world.
So as you can see, there way too many broad and vague interpretations of the film. Not one theme fits the film perfectly. Which actually helps to add the theme, as our current world that we live is quite similar. We can’t interpret our world with just thing, it’s built with many perceptions and each one of us views it differently.
Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below your thoughts on the film or any other ideas/theories you want me to talk about next time.