Us Movie Poster

Trivia for Us

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  • The title 'Us' was announced on May 8, 2018.
  • Second film to be directed by Jordan Peele, after Get Out (2017).
  • Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke had previously starred together in Black Panther (2018) alongside Daniel Kaluuya, who starred in Jordan Peele's previous film Get Out (2017).
  • Reportedly the unofficial sequel to Jordan Peele's Oscar-winning film Get Out (2017).
  • Jordan Peele first teased the movie back in May 2018 with a tweet that now has over 300 thousand likes and 80 thousand retweets.
  • Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II all attended the Yale School of Drama. Nyong'o and Duke were classmates.
  • Jordan Peele gave the cast eleven horror films to watch so they would have "a shared language" when filming: Jaws (1975), Dead Again (1991), The Shining (1980), The Babadook (2014), It Follows (2014), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), The Birds (1963), Funny Games (1997), Martyrs (2008), Let the Right One In (2008), and The Sixth Sense (1999).
  • Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke previously starred in Black Panther (2018).
  • Elisabeth Moss and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II have starred on The Handmaid's Tale (2017), which also features an iconic image of a long line of people in red uniforms.
  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Anna Diop have both appeared in DC Comics productions. Yayha plays Black Manta in Aquaman (2018) and Anna portrays Starfire/Koriand'r in Titans (2018).
  • Partly filmed in Santa Cruz California.
  • The film was the opening night premiere for the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival, which was also its global premiere.
  • Winston Duke and Lapita Nyong'o preciously costarred in Black Panther (2017) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018).
  • Shipped to cinemas under the pseudonym "Deep Cuts".
  • One of two 2019 theatrical releases in which a VHS copy of the film The Right Stuff (1983) appears. Captain Marvel (2019) is the other.
  • The Bible verse that continuously appears in the film (Jeremiah 11:11) 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."
  • (Director Cameo) Jordan Peele: voice of the fun house narrator.
  • After her father wins a boardwalk game, Adelaide selects a Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) T-shirt as her prize. As a child, Corey Feldman was once a member of Michael Jackson's close friendship circle, and was also one of the stars of both The Lost Boys (1987) and The Goonies (1985). Both films are referenced in "Us".
  • The Wilsons' toy closet includes the game "Guess Who?", a classic board game requiring players to match the identical face of the card chosen by the other player.
  • After "Get Out", this is the second Jordan Peele feature film to feature a main character eating Fruit Loops with their hands
  • Like The Lost Boys (1987), several key scenes take place on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. This is even referenced in-universe, when Adelaide's mother (Anna Diop) says, "You know, they're shooting a movie over there by the carousel."
  • When creating Red's signature voice, Lupita Nyong'o was inspired by a condition called spasmodic dysphonia. The condition is characterized by intense vocal spasms causing breaks and interruptions in speech, as well as strained speech that is difficult to hear. It is often initially triggered by extreme trauma and periods of psychological stress
  • While the Wilsons are in the Tylers' house, Jason eats a bowl of dry Froot Loops. This references a scene in Jordan Peele's previous movie, Get Out (2017), in which a character eats Froot Loops and drinks milk from "segregated" glasses.
  • Ironically, the name of the Tylers' unhelpful virtual assistant, Ophelia, derives from the Greek "ophéleia," meaning "help."
  • "I Got 5 On It" by the hip-hop rap duo Luniz, is the song featured in the Us movie trailer and remixed into several scenes in the movie. The song was released in May 1995. It was certified a platinum single (one million units sold) in October 1995. The title is a phrase meaning to pay half of a dime bag (a $10 bag of cannabis) with another person.
  • Lupita Nyong'o based Red's voice on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and specifically the spasmodic dysphonia he suffers from.
  • The filmmakers did not need to do much work on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, as many games and rides are originals going far back as the 1910's. Also, indeed there is an underground tunnel system under The Boardwalk, though it is mostly used for storage and as a shelter in case of any emergency. There is no hall of mirrors (as shown in the film) on the beach.
  • During the filming at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the rides were all filled with dummies, then CGI was used to create moving people.
  • In the beginning scene where the "Hands Across America" commercial is playing, a VHS copies of C.H.U.D. (1984) and The Goonies (1985) can be seen on the shelf to the left of the TV and a copy of The Right Stuff (1983) can be seen underground. C.H.U.D is about underground creatures and the Goonies takes place primarily in underground tunnels. The Right Stuff takes place primarily above ground and in orbit.
  • The rabbits are multiply suggestive: in the opening scene, of caged lab animals (later it is implied that they are raised for food for the tethered: Peele's many allusions may include Michael Moore's "Roger and Me" in which a poor woman who breeds rabbits in Flint asks a customer if he wants the rabbit for a pet or meat); later of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass; and insofar as the movie is fundamentally about class, they may also reflect the fears of the haves that havenots breed like rabbits. "The Shining," a clear influence, also features a bizarrely unnerving man with a rabbit head during Wendy's final mad scramble through the hotel.
  • The words Get Out (2017), which was the title of Jordan Peele's previous film, can be seen carved into the sides of the entrance of the hall of mirrors.
  • When the song I Got 5 On It comes on in the car, it does so at the moment Eddie Murphy is mentioned in the lyrics. This could be another possible nod to the doppelgänger theme, as Murphy is known for playing several roles at once in his films.
  • The use of the song I Got 5 On It appears to resonate with the main theme of film. It tells of two guys each chipping in $5 to buy a $10 bag of weed, which like the scissors and the repetition of the number 11 within the film, is a combination of two things creating one whole, just like the Tethered themselves.
  • The fast food that the family eats is called "Copperpots" a nod to Chester Copperpot, the legendary treasure hunter in The Goonies (1985) which is referenced many times in the movie.
  • There's no hidden meaning for Gabe's infatuation with the boat. Jordan Peele simply wanted Gabe to have a boat as a status symbol.
  • Grossed $71 million over its United States opening weekend, the highest ever for an original horror film, and the second highest for an original live-action film, after Avatar (2009)'s $77 million.
  • When Lupita Nyong'o appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2015) to promote the film, she was wearing scary yellow-irised contact lenses to better reflect the eerie nature of her character.
  • Director Trademark: [characters walking or running straight to the camera] Gabe's point-of-view is seen as Abraham walks straight toward him.
  • Among Josh Tyler's tattoos is a pair of antlers, one on each arm, a reference to Jordan Peele's previous movie, Get Out (2017).
  • Jason wears a Jaws (1975) shirt for his trip to the beach. When Jason disappears on the beach to go to the bathroom there is a point where he begins to slow walk. Over his shoulder there is a distinct shadow that looks like a shark fin breaching the water.
  • The son's name, Jason, is a reference to Friday the 13th's villain, Jason, who also wears a mask.
  • Archive footage of 5-year-old Nicole Richie appears in the Hands Across America commercial.
  • The main cast contains three recent alumni of the Yale Drama School: Lupita Nyong'o (class of 2012); Winston Duke (class of 2013) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (class of 2015).
  • When young Adelaide enters the hall of mirrors in 1986, it is called the "Shaman's Vision Quest Forest." When the Wilsons visit the same beach in 2018, it has been renamed "Merlin's Forest," although the other exterior and interior features appear to have remained unchanged. This is consistent with the cultural shift that occurred between the 1980s and the 2010s. While it was commonplace in the 20th century to use Native American symbols to name institutions (sports teams, summer camps, military suppliers, etc.), the 21st century saw a wave of pressure to adjust such naming conventions by rejecting cultural appropriation.
  • "Umbrae" is Latin for "shadows" or "shadow of".
  • Director Trademark: [rabbits] The song "Run, Rabbit, Run" is used in the opening scene of Peele's previous film, Get Out (2017). The opening credits for "Us" feature a wall of caged rabbits, and rabbits are a recurrent theme throughout the film.
  • In keeping with the film's theme of duality and the concept of two identical parts making up one whole, one of the VHS tapes seen near the television at the beginning of the film is The Man with Two Brains (1983).
  • Of the 3 helicopters seen hovering at the end, the closest one can be seen as a Eurocopter/Airbus AS-355 TwinStar also known as the Eccureuil II (squirrel) and is a twin turbine engine version of the AS-350/Ecureuil.
  • The baseball game is tied at 11-11... and one team is Minnesota. Minnesota's team is named the Twins.
  • Jason Blum, who had produced Jordan Peele's previous movie Get Out (2017), was asked to produce this one as well. As his low-budget production company Blumhouse could not come up with the necessary budget, Universal Pictures hired him as a producer outside of his company on a one-time basis.
  • It appears that another huge influence on this film is the Allegory of the Cave, first told in Plato's Republic around 380 BC.
  • Just like Get Out (2017) was a black version of the Stepford Wives; Us is a black version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Both movies are allegories about minority culture and identity being appropriated (and destroyed) by mainstream society.
  • Lupita Nyong'o was only 3 years old in 1986. Her character Adelaide is somewhat older than the actress, as Madison Curry who plays 1986 Adelaide is clearly much older than 3 in her scenes.
  • Just as Get Out was a black Stepford Wives; this is a black spin on Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • This is similar to a 1967 episode of the sci-fi show "Lost in Space"; called The Anti-Matter Man. In the episode John Robinson and Don West are transported onto a strange new world where their evil opposites exist and plan to change places with them. The Anti-Matter Robinson family; evil twins of the Robinson family; plot to take over the real/good Robinsons and take their place. (Much like the tethered people in US). Infact Lost in Space did several episodes where evil twins of the Robinsons battled with them; or variations on this theme.
  • Us is perhaps a pun on U.S. On life how it is in America; with the overclasses battling over limited spots and resources with the underclass; and killing themselves off in the process. The Tethered even introduce themselves as "Americans."
  • Hilariously when Elizabeth Moss calls for Alexa to "Get the police" in the scene where the Tethereds are attacking her; Alexa starts playing "f--- the police"; as opposed to calling the actual police. This is a comment on breakdown in communication between the classes.
  • There is a character named Nancy whose doppelgänger is named Syd. This is a reference to Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.
  • The doppelgängers toying with and taunting the Wilsons while they're situated on the couch, simply watching in fear, is a reference to both the Austrian film Funny Games (1997) and the American remake Funny Games (2007).
  • The scissors used by the doppelgängers in the film are also a reference to A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), where the same weapon is used. They're also a reference to Dead Again (1991), which features an antique pair of scissors.
  • The doppelgängers wear one glove on their right hand, a reference to Michael Jackson who used to do the same.
  • The overhead shot of the Wilsons driving to the vacation home, along with the synchronized speech and mannerisms of the twins, is a reference to The Shining (1980).
  • Twins Cali and Noelle Sheldon's first role was taking turns playing Ross and Rachel's baby daughter Emma on Friends (1994).

Spoilers

  • In the beginning of the movie, one of the VHS tapes on the left side of the TV has a sticker labelled "1 hour and 44 minutes". That's approximately the same length of the movie
  • By the end of the film, each member of the Wilson family has killed their own respective counterparts.
  • The word on Zora's hoodie means "rabbit" in Vietnamese.
  • In the beginning scene where the "Hands Across America" commercial is playing, a VHS copy of C.H.U.D. (1984) can be seen on the shelf to the left of the TV. C.H.U.D. is a cult science fiction horror film about a group of subterranean creatures living in tunnels below the surface of New York City, similar to the subterranean "shadows" in Us. Another VHS tape visible on that shelf is a copy of The Man with Two Brains (1983), a reference both to the dual-soul connection between the Tethered and their aboveground counterparts and to Jordan Peele's previous movie, Get Out (2017), which involved partial brain replacement.
  • The ambulance toy that blocks the closet door foreshadows the end of the film.
  • The Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) T-shirt won for Adelaide by her father in the film's opening foreshadows the ending; both the film and the music video conclude with a question in regard to the identity of the main protagonist, punctuated with an ominously suggestive smile.
  • Adelaide never eats meat or drinks anything besides water. In the scene where her family is eating fast food and drinking soda, she is eating strawberries and drinking water. Later, Kitty offers her wine at the beach and she says she is fine with water.
  • When the Wilsons are driving the ambulance at the end, the number on the roof of the ambulance is "1111". A tie-in to the Bible chapter and verse (Jeremiah 11:11) that is shown multiple times during the movie.
  • Red quotes Corey Feldman's character from Goonies which can be seen as a VHS on the shelf in the first shot of the film
  • The Tyler twins appear to be based on the Grady twins in The Shining (1980). During the beach scene, their posture is similar when standing over Zora and instead of saying "Come and play with us" they make fun of Jason playing in the sand. Also, when we see their bloody corpses in the shot looking down the elevated hallway, they are lying in similar positions to the Grady twins murder flashbacks.
  • When Jason and Zora discover the dead Tyler twins at the top of the stairs they are posed in a manner that mirrors the famous shot of the butchered Grady twins from The Shining
  • The Wilsons' doppelgängers first appear on their driveway in the same order as the stick family decal on the back of their car.
  • In addition to Jeremiah 11:11 being seen written on a sign twice, the numbers 11:11 appear frequently throughout this film. When Gabe is watching a baseball game on TV, the announcer says that the game is tied 11-11. When Addie and Jason are talking in his room, the digital clock reads 11:11 pm. Also, a carnival worker in 1986 and one of the twins in the present day both wear a T-shirt for the band Black Flag, the logo of which consists of four vertical black bars that resemble the number 1111. And again at the end of the movie when the ambulance is driving down the windy back road the camera pans out and shows the ambulance number 1111 on top of it.
  • Adelaide's shirt progressively becomes stained red throughout the film, slowly revealing her true origin.
  • The tethered versions of Kitty and Josh are called Dahlia and Tex. Dahlia may refer to "The Black Dahlia" of the infamous murder case of 1947. The name Tex may refer to Tex Watson who was a member of the Manson family who participated in the Tate/LaBianca Murders. In addition, "Kitty" was also the nickname of Kathryn Lutesinger, who was a member of the Manson family. Interestingly, both The Black Dahlia and Kitty's actress share a similar first name even though they are spelled differently (Elizabeth/Elisabeth), furthering the themes of duality found throughout the film.
  • An early hint that the movie is more about class than race appears in the TV commercial for Hands Across America, a much-hyped 1986 event that aimed to raise awareness about hunger by forming a human chain from coast to coast. The event stands in for a more general critique of charity (especially celebrity sponsored charity) as an adequate response to the structural inequality allegorized in "Us" (or U.S.) through the Tethered. When the Tethered are seen near the end of the film (re)forming the human chain, the audience is asked to hear an ironic echo of the song actually sung during the 1986 event: Michael Jackson's "We are the World." (Hands Across America" netted relatively little for the poor owing to tremendous overhead expenses and huge numbers of unpaid pledges.) There is also another musical echo between the commercial and the final scene...the commercial features a muzak version of "Les Fleurs", which turns out to be the end-credits song of the film.
  • The man holding the Jeremiah 11:11 sign was the first to be attacked by his doppelgänger. He is seen in the beginning of the movie being put in the back of an ambulance, presumably after being stabbed. Later, Jason sees the doppelgänger on the beach with blood on his hand and his arms outstretched, the first person in the line waiting for the others to join hands. You can also see his red jumpsuit sticking out of the bottom of his jacket.
  • Although not all the Tethered are named in the movie, in the credits every Tethered is given a name designated in red.
  • When Adelaide is lying on the couch, she sees a spider on the table crawling past a larger toy spider. This image foreshadows the 'doppelgänger' theme in the movie.
  • When Jason gets 'lost' on the beach, many of the camera shots directly reference those used in Jaws (1975), during similar beach scenes. Jason is even wearing a 'Jaws' T-shirt, further underlining Jordan Peele's reverence to the classic film.
  • When the Wilson family visits the beach, they are shown in a bird's eye view shot walking across the sand with long shadows that resemble the numbers '1111', a reference to Jeremiah 11:11, the bible verse that appears multiple times throughout the film. Their long shadows also allude their doppelgängers, or 'shadows', who appear later in the film.
  • Lupita Nyong'o based the voice of protagonist Adelaide's doppelgänger counterpart Red on a neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia which causes involuntary spasms of the larynx. She was inspired to do so after reading a line in the script which stated that "She (Red) had not used her voice in many years.".
  • The fact that the Tethered chiefly use scissors as a weapon is a great representation of the Tethered themselves; they are two identical pieces bound together to create one whole.
  • Red is the only Tethered that uses language, due to the fact that she is the real Adelaide and had learned to speak before being trapped underground by her Tethered analog.
  • Toward the end of the film, the "tethered" are a slave to what their doppelgangers' are performing above ground. This is a distinct reference to the scene in The Sound Of Music where the children are performing (above the puppets) with marionettes of animals that clearly represent their own connections to the puppets.
  • At the beginning of the film, when Zora locks Jason in the closet there is a board game in the back called "Monster Trap". Foreshadowing where Jason would trap his doppelgänger later in the film.
  • During the scene in the psychologist's office, young Adelaide is shown organizing the toy animals in a straight line in the sandpit, foreshadowing Red's plan to have the tethered stand hand in hand across America, beginning at the Santa Cruz beach. The last toy animal Adelaide places into the line is a white rabbit.
  • When Red is detailing her past encounter with Adelaide near the end of the film, she mentions how she believes God brought them together that fateful night in 1986. This foreshadows the truth that Red is actually the real Adelaide, as the real version would have learned about God prior to her abduction, whereas the Tethered, who don't even know how to speak, more likely wouldn't even comprehend the concept of God.
  • The initial cut of the film did not include the haunting remixed instrumental version of "I've Got 5 On It". This dark version of the song was originally only cut for the film's trailer. Viewers responded very positively, thus encouraging Jordan Peele to insert it into the film's final showdown scene between Adelaide and Red.
  • When Gabe and Zora peer around the ambulance there is another 11 reference seen in the 911 on the side. Later the aerial view of the same ambulance reveals the assigned number as 1111.
  • Picking up on the topic of duality the title can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, Us as a personal pronoun. Secondly, US as an abbreviation for United States. During one dialogue both interpretations are being picked up when Jason says "It's us" and later on Red says "We're Americans."
  • It appears to be an unwritten rule that the Tethered only murder their own doppelganger. The Tylers, for example, die at the hands of their own doppelgangers, but when confronting the Wilsons, they only appear to toy with and capture the family, despite multiple opportunities to kill them. The same appears to be true when the Zora/Umbrae chase scene is interrupted by the car owner, as the car owner is stabbed by Umbrae, but only in the leg.
  • The scene in which Zora was driving the car and flung Umbrae off of the car and into the woods, which resulted in Adelaide going off into the woods and seeing Umbrae die in the tree, was a very clear parallel to the scene in Get Out when they hit the deer with their car and Chris gets out to go into the woods and sees the deer dying.
  • Several aspects of the Tethereds' appearance and plan tie into Adelaide's last memories of her life aboveground. The Tethered all wear a single glove, which was also a favorite fashion accessory of Michael Jackson; Adelaide's father won her a Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983) t-shirt just before her abduction. Likewise, "Hands Across America," which for most Americans who lived through it was a relatively minor and forgettable moment, loomed large in Adelaide's memory as one of the last pop culture events she could remember from before her imprisonment.
  • Elisabeth Moss (Kitty) starred in The One I Love (2014), which was also about doppelgangers, albeit shape-shifting ones.
  • When the Wilsons' "shadows" first appear in the driveway, they are holding hands--foreshadowing the Tethered's bloody recreation of "Hands Across America."
  • The fact that "Red" is the only Tethered who can/does speak English is a clue to her true identity. Likewise, her voice's hoarse, halting quality is due to both the facts that "Red" has not had anyone to speak with in decades and also that her vocal chords were damaged as a child when her double choked and abducted her. Likewise, "Adelaide"'s dialogue and story-line drop several voice-related clues about her identity. As a child, her parents took her to therapy after the switch because she seemed to stop talking. Though they assumed she was silent because of trauma, she actually couldn't talk, because she was a Tethered and it took her some time to learn how to speak. When Kitty tries to make small talk with adult Adelaide on the beach, Adelaide demurs, explaining, "I have a hard time talking."
  • When Addie and Zora are talking in her room earlier in the film, one of the books on Zora's end table is entitled "They Came From Below", which foreshadows the arrival of the Tethered from the underground tunnels.
  • The only doppelgänger that Adelaide actively seeks out to kill is her own, despite her whole family being in danger, possibly to avoid being responsible for the destruction of a fellow doppelgänger. She's alone with her daughter's doppelgänger and instead of finishing her off, she just gently says "shh, shh" and lets her die. She tries to convince her son's doppelgänger to not walk into the fire. The only doppelgänger she kills other than her own is one of the twins', and that could be because the twin posed a threat against her. Ultimately, she only sought out to kill Red so she could remain the only Adelaide.
  • Dahlia appears to have scars on her cheeks, reflecting Kitty's plastic surgery (mentioned earlier). It likely is also why she cuts her own face later.
  • During Red's monologue to Adelaide in the underground classroom, she ends with "...now it's our time. It's our time up there!" This is likely a reference to The Goonies (1985) when Mikey says "... But right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here." Both monologues occur in secret underground tunnels. Goonies is referenced in several ways throughout the film.
  • In one of the film's final scenes, the blood on Adelaide's face forms a pitchfork, which her son seems to notice.
  • When the family is in the car listening to "I Got Five On It", Adelaide is teaching her son to get the rhythm, while she is snapping off beat. This foreshadows that she's an escaped Tethered.
  • There are a few other clues that Adelaide is actually one of the Tethered. When Zora kills Umbrae, she comforts her as she is dying. When Jason manages to make Pluto kill himself, she screams "No!", as she wanted him to be safe. And when she kills Red and kills off Dahlia, she joyously laughs in the same feral growl as the Tethered, thus proving she's not as normal as everybody think she is.
  • When the Wilsons walk across the beach, their shadows loom extra large above them. "Four shadows" equals foreshadowing. This is foreshadowing of their dopplegangers to come.
  • When Jason says "When you point a finger at someone, three more fingers point back towards you" to his father at the beginning of the film, this foreshadows Adelaide's revelation regarding her true nature. Adelaide is adamant they run away from the beach at the Tyler's house, one finger pointing in one direction, while her family decides they want to stay, three fingers pointing in the opposite direction.
  • Rabbits are often seen as a symbol of prosperity. Ironically, rabbits are revealed to be the main food source for the tethered who, compared to their above ground counterparts, have nothing.
  • The carnival worker running the Whac-a-Mole game is wearing a t-shirt for Black Flag's "My War" album. The album's cover art features a hand-puppet wearing red and brandishing a knife. This is a portent of what is to come: a war of doppelgängers, clad in red, attacking and stabbing their human counterparts.
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