Universal Pictures invited journalists last week to view a sneak peek at the movie trailer for the Jordan Peele film Us released on Christmas Day. We broke down the trailer which you can find here. As the internet and social media are buzzing about its release, and after watching it myself several times — here are some theories I have of what we can expect to see in the impending Monkeypaw Productions project.
Maybe Jason’s doppelganger is an homage to Jason Vorhees?
It’s not lost on me that Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe Wilson’s (Winston Duke) son is named Jason (Evan Alex). It is likely that Jason’s doppelganger has the same or similar persona than that of Friday the 13th’s Jason Vorhees. If you fast-forward to 2:10 in the trailer, Jason’s doppelganger uncovers his mask and his face is clearly burned. Jason Vorhees also had a facial deformity which is why he, too, always wore a mask. If this theory proves true, then each family member could likely have a doppelganger that represents a horror icon of some sort.
What’s with the Jaws shirt Jason is wearing?
In Jordan Peele’s universe, there are no coincidences. Nearly every scene potentially could be filled with social commentary about race. It is likely that the Jaws shirt Jason is wearing during the Wilson family road trip is indicative of something that parallels what Jaws is — a film about a great white shark. Is Peele trying to convey something about whiteness and danger? The word shark comes with a myriad of idioms. Could it mean a threatening loan shark or Jason is a small fish in a little pond to being attacked by a shark? Water seems to be a bit of a theme here since the family takes their vacation to the beach and Gabe purchases a boat for the family. Let’s just hope this sophomore project of Peele’s doesn’t equate to the TV idiom of “jumping the shark”
The meaning behind the masks is literally the writing on the wall. Us clearly has to do with the masks that we hide behind that we are afraid to face ourselves. This psychological thriller will force many of us to face the horror of how we hide who we are and Peele has an artistic way of turning this genre upside down to see that truth is always more terrifying and stranger than fiction.
An Asylum of Us?
It appears in one scene of the trailer — we see Zora Wilson (Shahadi Wright-Joseph) walking ominously in slow-motion down a corridor. She appears to be in some kind of asylum. There are other people in the background walking around like zombies. Are these other doppelgangers? Could it be that the Wilson family is not the only one under attack by these horrifying identities?
Jordan Peele is clearly trying to get our attention with the white rabbits featured in the trailer. It’s also featured in the cover art for the film, so there is a theme here with white rabbits that is deeply connected to the story. Now in 2:20 of the trailer there is an image of several caged rabbits and not all are white, so there may or may not be some racial commentary tied to the rabbit’s color. The last time we saw something really bad happen involving a rabbit was Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction boiling one. Then there’s the creepy Frank character in Donnie Darko that creeped everyone out. Bunnies do have some history in the horror movie genre, so it could either be Peele paying homage to a series of films featuring these seemingly innocent little creatures or he’s trying to turn our world upside-down again.
Where’s Black Manta?
Okay, well let me clarify here, actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is currently playing one of the most popular DC characters on the big screen right now in Aquaman as Black Manta. The actor is a principal cast member in Us and was notably absent from the trailer. Could he be portraying yet another main villain sent to terrorize the Wilsons? Or is he the key to helping get rid of the doppelgangers?
What theories do you have about the impending film? Fire off in the comments below. #UsMovie releases in theaters nationwide March 2019.
Watch the trailer one more time and see if you caught anything new.
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online publication and multimedia space for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association and executive producer of the Black Girl Nerds Podcast.