A Deeper Meaning Behind “Us” (2019 film)

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Jason Wilson (Evan Alex), Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), Zora Wilson (Shahidi Wright Joseph)

Jordan Peele, the writer and director of, Get Out, produced in 2017, pulled off yet another horror masterpiece in 2019 simply titled, Us. Although I am very well aware dissecting a movie that came out a year ago may seem like old news, Us has a stronger meaning and important symbolism that viewers often seem to miss. The hidden message that Peele purposely buried into his movie is relevant now, and shall stay relevant as time goes on in America. You have been warned now, spoilers will be mentioned throughout this article.

Taking bits and pieces of the script, something that gives away a subtle hint to Peele’s message is when Adelaide Wilson (the main character) and her family are intruded upon by a group of doppelgangers, known as the Tethered, who live remotely underground. Adelaide’s husband, Gabe, asks in a feared manner, “Who are you?” and the Tethered merely responds with, “We’re Americans.” This straightforward answer was included in the script for a reason and it opens the door to a chilling, deeper meaning to Us.

Kitty Tyler (Elizabeth Moss)

Peele’s hidden message in the movie is that the “American Dream” is nothing but a shallow, superficial façade. Looking at the modern society we live in, on the surface, the stereotypical American family is wholesome and happy, but why are they happy? It’s due to the fact that American families live comfortably and have the funding to fill their needs with material items, such as pricey homes, vehicles and clothing.

Good examples of this include how Gabe Wilson tried to save his family from the Tethered by bribing them with money, the family’s beach house and even his new motor boat or when the Tyler family gets murdered by their own Tethered doppelgangers and Kitty Tyler’s Ophelia fails to call the cops, even though Ophelia is considered to be the most reliable, high-tech device to cover almost all household needs, including contacting the police force for any emergency purposes.

Adelaide Wilson and Tethered Doppelganger (Lupita Nyong’o)

Everyone in America craves costly, luxurious goods because it’s the one thing that makes citizens happy, but the reality is the elements that are desired won’t always be the most helpful in crucial times of need, yet Americans will never be satisfied with what they already have, thus yearning for newer, more expensive items time and time again. In Us, humans are sucked into a society where valuable objects are associated with social power. And that is truly the ultimate “American Dream.” The cinematic thriller triumph, Us, shows the audience how modern Americans have a distinct hunger for climbing their way up the social ladder. In Peele’s eyes, this entire nation has slowly transitioned into a twisted and senseless material world.