5 Burning Questions We Have After Watching Jordan Peele's 'Us'!
by Jordan Cioppa
[WARINING: SPOILERS AHEAD!]
Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-winning thriller Get Out, Us, finally hit theatres over the weekend after a ton of buzz, and let me tell you…it was definitely intense.
Coming from someone who is afraid of their own shadow (no pun intended), this movie was pretty creepy, but not in a jump-scare, paranormal way. In my opinion, Us has more of a thriller/end-of-the-world feel than it does horror, which I liked, but I still was left with a lot of questions! Here are 5 things we're still pondering after watching the film:
1. Why does Red’s voice sound the way it does?
At the very end of the movie, we learn that Lupita Nyong’o’s characters aren’t who we think they are. Adelaide, the normal mother and wife of the movie, is faced with the dangers of her murderous clone from the world below ground, Red. We find out at the end of the movie that Red is in fact the normal girl who was taken to the tunnels by her soulless clone, and never returned to the world above, until adulthood. The question is, why did Red lose her ability to talk? Being that she was about 7 or 8 when Adelaide swapped places with her, you would think she would be old enough to maintain her speech. A few explanations could be that her ability to speak faded away because she was the only person among the “Tethered” who could actually talk. She didn’t have anyone to talk to. Another reason could be that she may have been so distraught from her experiences that she was clearly mentally and physically affected by it. (Nyong'o has stated in interviews that the inspiration for the voice was a rare vocal disorder called spasmodic dysphonia, which can be triggered by a traumatic event.)
2. Why didn’t Red just escape the underground tunnels?
I think this is the big question that is on everyone’s minds. When Red (who was originally born Adelaide) was dragged down into the tunnels by her evil counterpart, that marked the end of her days above ground until she organized a revolution years later. So why didn’t she just try to leave? Red clearly knew the way out because she made her way up there eventually. One of the reasons I can think of is, when Adelaide took Red to the tunnels, she was unconscious and may not have figured out how to escape until she was a bit older. Being so young at the time, Red may have just accepted her fate and may have been too afraid to leave because she didn’t want anyone to harm her for leaving.
3. Why was Jason’s clone the only one to follow his lead still?
Is anyone else slightly confused why Jason’s evil, fire-obsessed doppelganger is still partially linked to him? Jason, who is very curious and aware of the world around him (and now, below him), catches on to this and ultimately leads Pluto to his death by walking backwards, knowing Pluto would do as Jason did and walk directly into the fire behind him. Wouldn’t all of the Tethered do as the person they were based after did? And wouldn’t that make the Tethered’s job of killing them harder? Something interesting to think about during this part is Adelaide’s reaction to Pluto’s death. She is calmly trying to stop him from doing this. While watching, I just assumed it was her motherly instincts coming out and reacting to seeing someone who looks alarmingly similar to her son die. But, after knowing what we do from the ending, she was probably just uneasy by seeing a younger one of her own die so harshly.
4. Where did the red suits come from?
The Tethered are the clones of every human on Earth created to control the population. They are soulless and zombie-like, and they re-enact everything their human is doing up above. Basically, they are a creepy and a not so lively version of whoever they are cloned from. Red leads a mass Tethered revolution to overthrow the people living above ground so that the Tethered can finally have a life beyond being a shadow of someone else. They all wear a matching red jumpsuit and carry a pair of scissors to do their killing. The question is…where did the jumpsuits and scissors come from? In the few scenes we see of the below ground world, all it looks like are a bunch of vacant rooms with rabbits (the Tethered’s food source) and some beds and desks. How did Red get the materials to make all of the red uniforms? Did she possibly have some help from the mysterious “they” who created the Tethered people? And, where did the scissors come from? This simple object played a huge role in the movie, but even more so in the Us marketing campaign all over L.A. I may be overthinking this one, but I need to know how Red was capable of getting all of the red jumpsuits, or if she was just a really good seamstress…
5. What does Jeremiah 11:11 mean?
In the beginning of the movie when the real Adelaide (now referred to as Red) is at the carnival with her parents, she sees a man holding a sign with "Jeremiah 11:11" written on it. We later see this man dead in an ambulance years after, when Adelaide returns to the beach with her family. I thought the sign represented some sort of end-of-the-world reference and wouldn’t reappear again in the movie, but it did and of course it left me wondering, what does that mean? Luckily, we have an answer to this one. This is a reference to the Biblical verse which reads: “Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.” But I still have a question about this. Did the man holding the sign know what the Tethered were up to down below? Did he see his doppelganger just has Red did? After all, he was one of the first to be killed by his evil clone…
Us definitely left us with a lot of questions, but don’t all good movies? If you’re in the mood for a creepy thriller that will leave you confused and afraid to look in the mirror, then I recommend seeing Us ASAP!
(Image via Universal Pictures)
- Jordan Cioppa, YH Contributing Writer