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 ten horror films to watch so they would have "a shared language" when filming: 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).
  • Elizabeth Moss and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II previously starred on The Handmaid's Tale (2017-).
  • Yayha 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 appears. Captain Marvel 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 Jordan Peele provides another voice cameo as the fun house narrator.
  • After her father wins a boardwalk game, Adelaide selects a "Michael Jackson's Thriller" T-shirt as her prize. As a child, Corey Feldman was once a member of Jackson's close friendship circle, and was also one of the stars of both "The Lost Boys" (1986) 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. and the Goonies can be seen on the shelf to the left of the TV and a copy of the Right Stuff 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 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.
  • 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", which was the title of Jordan Peele's previous film from 2017, 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" 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 feline contact lenses to better reflect the eerie nature of her character.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • The son's name, Jason, is a reference to Friday the 13th's villain, Jason, who also wears a mask.
  • Nicole Richie appears at the beginning of the movie as a 5 year old because she was actually 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)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Kitty) starred in The One I Love, which was also about doppelgangers, albeit shape-shifting ones.
  • "Umbrae" is Latin for "shadows" or "shadow of".
  • The song "Run, Rabbit, Run" is used in the opening scene of Peele's previous film, Get Out (2017). The opening credits for Us (2019) feature a wall of caged rabbits, and rabbits are a recurrent theme throughout the film.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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, a reference both to the dual-soul connection between the Tethered and their aboveground counterparts and to Jordan Peele's previous movie, Get Out, in which black people are kidnapped and some (though not all) of their brains are replaced by white people's brains.
  • The ambulance toy that blocks the closet door foreshadows the end of the film.
  • The "Thriller" (by Michael Jackson) 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 a reference to the Grady twins in The Shining. 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
  • 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 homelessness 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 pants 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.
  • During the scene where Jason gets 'lost' on the beach, many of the camera shots directly reference those used by Spielberg in the film 'Jaws', 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 N'yongo 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 speaks English, possibly due to the fact that she is the real Adelaide and had learned to speak before being trapped underground by her Tethered
  • 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 grown up learning about God 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 Peele to insert it into the film's final showdown scene between Adelaide and Red
  • 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 Wilson's, 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 "Thriller" 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.
  • When Adelaide enters the hall of mirrors as a child in 1986, it is called the "Shaman's Vision Quest Forest." Near the end of the movie, there is another, present-day scene set in the hall of mirrors, but 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 time the movie was filmed (the late 2010s). While it was once commonplace to use Native American culture and themes to name institutions (such as sports teams, summer camps, even military weaponry), by 2018 there may have been pushback to adjust such naming conventions.
  • 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" (really Adelaide) 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. In the present-day, when Kitty tries to make small talk with Adelaide on the beach, Adelaide demurs, explaining, "I have a hard time talking."
  • The only doppelgänger the "real" 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 "real" Adelaide.
  • 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 (Sean Astin) 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.
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