The Atlantic

Us and Jordan Peele’s New Horror

In his latest film, the comedian turned director continues to reinvent how the genre uses fear to comment on humanity’s evil.
Source: Universal

This story contains mild spoilers for the film Us.

It’s perhaps the most indelible image in cinema: Janet Leigh’s scream, her open mouth signaling unmistakable terror, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Taken from the movie’s famous shower scene, the shot is now virtually synonymous with the horror genre. Other elements establish the gravitas of Hitchcock’s crown-jewel sequence—the shocking and graphic death early in the film, the reveal of Norman Bates’s slashing, the implied nudity and risqué setup in the running shower—but they are best crystallized in that one, almost audible still.

In his recent run as a bona fide heir to Hitchcock, the comedian and filmmaker Jordan Peele has given the world a potential successor to Leigh’s scream: a black face, skin humidified and reflective, two bulging and bloodshot eyes, and the streaks of two tears. The face belongs to Daniel, and lives on in Lupita Nyong’o’s performance in the director’s new movie, . That silent expression of fear is now a trademark of Peele’s, and a visceral reminder of what he adds to the game. The very act of incorporating black actors and black creators turns horror inside out, giving the genre new dimensions and new power as social commentary.

Citiți o mostră, înregistrați-vă pentru a citi în continuare.

Interese conexe

Mai multe de la The Atlantic

The Atlantic12 min citite
The Moral Universe of Timothy Keller
Shortly after I met my wife, Cindy, in 1989—she was living in New York City at the time, while I was living in Northern Virginia—she told me about a new church she was attending in Manhattan: Redeemer Presbyterian. The young minister, she told me, wa
The Atlantic4 min cititePolitics
The Most Dangerous Form of Bribery
Election corruption can’t be solved by corrupt elections, so the Founders devised a special solution: impeachment.
The Atlantic11 min cititePolitics
The Kingmaker
Harry Reid may be the only person who can keep the Democrats from killing one another before selecting a nominee. But will he live long enough to do it?