Peele’s follow-up to Get Out has been even more successful. Banking $70million, it just posted the biggest opening weekend for any original horror movie in history, smashing A Quiet Place’s $50million last year. That movie went on to take an incredible $340million and the signs are very good for Us. The movie also contains a fantastic and shocking built-in premise as well as a truly classic twist at the end – both of which are heavily hinted in the names of the central characters. Do not read on beyond this point if you don’t want either spoiled.
The brutal backdrop to the movie is that everyone has a double living secretly below the Earth. So every character we meet also has a doppelganger and BOTH their names have hidden significance, most notably the four central family members.
Zora Wilson/Umbrae: Shahadi Wright Joseph play the daughter with one of the simplest hidden meanings in both her names.
Any linguists out there might know that Zora, or Zorya, is the Slavic goddess of dusk and dawn (or sometimes just dawn). Umbrae comes from the Latin word for shadow, umbra. So the character’s two names represent light and dark.
Jason Wilson/Pluto: Evan Alex plays the rather feral young son of the family.
Pluto in Roman mythology was the king of the Underworld, mirrored by Hades the God of Hell in Greek mythology. The links to the subject matter of the film are pretty clear but Peele is probably having even more fun with the name. The iconic Disney cartoon dog Pluto is a clear parallel to the child in Us who runs around on all fours like an animal.
Jason also likes to wear a mask which calls to mind the iconic horror villain from Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees.
Adelaide Wilson/Red: Lupita Nyong’o plays the main character who also has the enormous shock twist at the end.
Geography buffs will know that Adelaide is the capital city of Australia, the country affectionately nicknamed ‘Down Under.’ And this is a movie based around what lies down underneath our world. Red calls to mind Red Riding Hood, who has to travel through a terrifying wood and found a monster wearing the face of a family member. Plus, of course, the tethered doppelgangers all wear that very colour.
Gabe Wilson/Abraham: Winston Duke plays the father. His names may have Biblical links or perhaps a reference to Abraham Lincoln.
The archangel Gabriel appeared on Earth to announce the imminent births of John the Baptist and Jesus. In Genesis 18 Gabriel visits Abraham to tell him his wife will have a son. Gabriel is the bringer of two children for Adelaide in Us, who turns out to have been Red all along.
Abraham Lincoln famously went down in history as the man who freed the slaves, which is one way of looking at the tethered doppelgangers who have finally made their own bid for freedom.
US IS OUT NOW IN CINEMAS.
Published at Sun, 24 Mar 2019 19:42:00 +0000