Virtues

Us Trailer Breakdown

We are our own worst enemies. That’s the theme of Jordan Peele’s upcoming film, Us and the story that will haunt our nightmares come March 15, 2019.

After shocking the world and shaking the movie industry with Get Out, Academy Award winner, Jordan Peele is embarking on his next cinematic adventure. This time though, he’s shedding the theme of race and bringing out the evil that truly lurks beneath each and every one of us.

Naturally, he released the dark and twisted trailer on Christmas Day. So, let’s pack up the Christmas tree and break down the new, horrifying trailer.

The Plot

Starring Black Panther’s Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson and Winston Duke as her husband Gabe, Us follows the story of the Wilson family as they head to the California coast for a peaceful summer getaway. However, their vacation is far from relaxing when Adelaide starts to become haunted by an unresolved trauma from her past. When the family returns to their vacation home after a day at the beach, they discover four ominous figures holding hands in their driveway. These figures are their doppelgangers, and the terrifying monsters that are about to turn their worst nightmares into reality.

The Creatures

The creatures that haunt the Wilson family are called “The Tethered”. According to Peele, “we’re our own worst enemy, and that idea created this monster, The Tethered. I wanted to forge this new mythology that explored our duality and the duality of the characters.” These monsters force us to unleash the truths we bury deep within ourselves and challenge the entire world to face our fears as a society.

The Symbolism

Get Out was full of symbolism and this trailer shows that Us will be no different. On the movie’s theatrical poster and throughout the trailer, we see the use of golden scissors. Scissors are symbolic of cutting a life thread and represent the separation of the spiritual and physical world. Golden scissors specifically represent an inheritance or pleasure, which could suggest a severance of inherited problems or past.

These scissors also echo the image seen at the end of the trailer. The two shadowy heads are laid out exactly like the handles of the golden scissors. This could show that the family will have to face their true fears and sever the darkness that has been tethered to them.

Another symbolic image that is seen throughout the trailer is that of the white rabbit. Now, the white rabbit has many meanings and Peele has said, “I can say just about any piece of symbolism that you could pull from the rabbit specifically I think is applicable to this story.”

The white rabbit is generally seen in movies when people let go of their fears and release their distortions of reality. This representation of the rabbit ultimately relates to the theme of the film, and could act as the reason why the doppelgangers exist. They are the horrifying embodiment of fear and the cruel distortion of reality. The family may have to learn how to cope with these ideals in order to defeat the monster that lives within. This is also why the doppelganger family is dressed in red – the red represents the demons that lie within the Wilson family. At some points throughout the trailer, you can also see a striking comparison as Adelaide wears white drenched with red blood and challenges her red-clothed demon.

A white rabbit also appears as a sign that life will begin anew. It represents healing and the awakening of a new and more beautiful world. This could suggest that the family must cleanse themselves to awaken to a more beautiful life, or it could represent a potential societal cleansing. The rabbits could suggest that the family is going through an event, much like the Purge, where the government is working to cleanse its society of people that they believe are unfit or weak.

Lastly, the first scene of the trailer shows the mother teaching her son how to stay on-beat. This could suggest a wider theme throughout the entire movie about staying in people’s own lanes or staying within society’s morals and restraints. Some people even believe that this opening scene of the trailer could actually be the film’s closing scene, wrapping up the morals of the film with the mom showing her son how to behave and act in their new life.

Easter Eggs

The film wasn’t only full of symbolism, but it also had some interesting Easter eggs and hidden objects. Were you able to catch all of these?

  • The little boy’s name in the film is Jason and throughout the trailer, he is seen wearing a mask. Now Peele told fans that he took inspiration from classic horror films, so could this be a reference to Halloween? The mask also looks very similar to the mask that Winston Duke wears in Black Panther, when M’Baku challenges T’Challa for the crown.
  • During the car ride, we see that the son is wearing a Jaws shirt, which is no doubt a nod to the 1975 Universal Picture film. If you look at the girl though, she is wearing a white and black pin, which might represent yin and yang or the duality featured in the film.
  • Later in the trailer when the dad arrives in his “Craw Daddy” boat, the daughter is wearing a teal shirt with a white rabbit on it. This represents the white rabbit theme that Peele spoke about, and the family’s travel through the distortions of reality.
  • When the boy separated from his family on the beach, there’s a funhouse to his left called “Merlin’s Forest”. Merlin’s forest in both history and pop culture is known as Brocéliande, or the enchanted forest that sometimes imprisons or kills Merlin. Adding this symbolism into the film could represent a path towards imprisonment or death. Also, the wording underneath the name of the funhouse says “Find yourself,” which is ultimately the theme of the film.
  • When Jason is meeting with his doppelganger by candlelight, there are board games in the back. You can see Magic, Candy Land, and Guess Who? The Guess Who board game is very interesting, as it also portrays the theme of the film. The Magic game is also flipped upside down, which could represent Black Magic.
  • After the doppelgangers break into the Wilsons’ vacation home, we see a little girl that isn’t a representation of one of the family members. She walks through the carnival with a red candied apple that suggests a reference to Eve and the knowledge of good and evil. According to YouTuber, God Eye Media 2, the rollercoaster above her in the scene also makes it look like she has angel wings, which could also further suggest a biblical reference. The girl is also wearing a Thriller shirt, which may reference zombies or the undead. Now, we don’t actually know who this girl is or what her relation is to the rest of the family; however, as the story features Adelaide’s past, it might be a representation of her previous trauma.

Fan Theories

The trailer gave us a glimpse of a threatening and terrifying world. However, it also left us with many questions. Here are some of the fan theories that are already out there:

  • The Wilsons are actually part of a government experiment that looks into whether or not humans can take on and accept their own worst selves. This was likely suggested because of the scene in the trailer that shows the white rabbits running loose in a hospital setting.
  • The plots of the film are actually part of a mental breakdown that Adelaide, the mother envisions after her son disappears on the beach. This could establish the film as a psychological thriller that focuses on the loss of a child and post-traumatic stress.
  • One theory suggests that the film will actually be connected to Get Out and will focus on a company that is making clones of black families. This theory stems out of the first scene in the trailer, where Adelaide tells her son to stay “in beat”. Ultimately, this could be a white mother, trying to teach her son to become accustomed to his new body. Although Peele stated that this film will not focus on race and/or racism, this could all be a misdirection so that we don’t spoil the end of the film.
  • One theory suggests that Adelaide has an estranged twin that she somehow neglected or abused earlier in her life. Therefore, the twin created doppelgangers to attempt to take Adelaide’s new life as her own.
  • Some people believe the title “Us” actually stands for United States, and therefore the film is a representation of society and how we need to explore our truths and challenge our inner demons.

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Us is set to hit theaters on March 15, 2019, but if you can’t wait until then, feel free to dish out your feelings in the comments!

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