Peele channels the Steven Spielberg of the early 1980s, the Spielberg who hired Tobe Hooper to make Poltergeist edgy, but then interfered to ensure it remained family friendly. In Us, Spielberg—as a concept, as a theme, and now as a memory—constrains Peele’s vision the same way Spielberg constrained Hooper.
“Us” is not as beloved as “Get Out” — at least for now — partly because the expectations for Peele’s sophomore effort were so high, but also because “Get Out” was an easier film to dissect. “Us” offers no easy answers, but indicts us all.
To me, for instance, one of the film’s most affecting themes was the idea of impostor’s guilt, especially in relation to class. And I’m wondering what work is done when we are responding to the ideas presented on screen in very visceral, bodily ways, whether laughing or screaming.