See It at the Movies

US

Posted

US
* * *
(Violent horror film)
Jordan Peele thrilled us with his original, mind-bending first film, “Get Out,” adding a twist that few saw coming. His second film will please those who are into the horror genre, but this time around he adds one too many twists and turns and  enough blood and gore for 10 movies.
We first meet Adelaide as a little girl who wanders away from her family at a Santa Cruz carnival, enters a house of mirrors on the beach, and meets her alter ego. Switch to a grown up Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) who with her husband and two children visits their summer home in Santa Cruz. Dad (Winston Duke) wants to go to the beach, but mom resists as memories of that childhood experience haunt her.
People hold up signs saying “Jeremiah 11:11.” I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up: “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 harken unto them.”
The Wilson family has evil brought to them in the form of a red-clad family that appears in their driveway and looks exactly like them. The doppelgangers terrorize the Wilsons in a violent home invasion they are not able to escape as they cry out for help…and get none.
My problem with the film is the attempt by Peele to make the movie a psychological drama while never letting up on the nonstop violence. At the beginning of the movie we see multiple rabbit cages and are told of thousands of underground tunnels. Both appear at the end. You figure out what it all means.
Nyong’o is terrific as the mother and her evil double. She makes you believe she is two sides of one person.
Just what all this means is open to interpretation, but the graphic violence tends to overshadow the psychological, ethereal mood. There are all sorts of strange images (like the rabbits) and the eternal line of red clad people who stretch over the landscape toward the sea. Film scholars will have a field day figuring out what it all means, while the largely horror-genre audience may be preoccupied with bloody, violent scenes.
Background music and long, lingering shots add to the somber mood. Make of it what you will. It was a bit much for me. (Joyce stayed home).
Rated a big R, with violence and profanity galore.

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