This is Jordan Peele’s second movie following his big horror hit from last year, Get Out. In this story, a young girl strays from her father and finds herself in a room of mirrors at an amusement park on the California coast. She turns around and finds herself staring at herself. Fast forward to the present day, she is married with two children, and she is talked into going to the beach by her husband who doesn’t know her history at that beach. One night, after a day at the beach, the family discovers 4 intruders on their property – intruders who look like near replicas of themselves. My take from the film overall is that, while I don’t think it is as strong as Get Out, it definitely establishes Peele as a brilliantly creative talent. The movie explores the topic of divide, but this time it is not a societal divide but the divide within us. That topic, on the surface, appears rather uninspiring; however, Peele has a lot going on in his head and turns all of that into a story that is creepy, bloody, and bloody hilarious at the same time. The lead, played by Lupita Nyong’o, is brilliant; this is her movie, and she slips into both selves expertly with all of the compassion and fierceness of mothers protecting their families. There is a sensibility here that is unmistakable Jordan Peele in the novel way he tells a story, using a genre that has been largely co-opted by White screenwriters and directors, from the cultural perspective of Black Americans.  Big thumbs up for a film that should be essential viewing for those who enjoy the horror genre. The storyline doesn’t always quite “add up”, but the ending is (at least for me) unpredictable and satisfying. And there is one scene during one particularly brutal part of the film that still makes me laugh out loud when I remember it.

About Gary Burkholder

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