Us (4K UHD Blu-Ray Review)

Jordan Peele is, in my humble opinion, a truly innovative filmmaker. He has made two films that manage to creep us out, make us laugh, challenge our way of thinking and entertain without sacrificing true film art. Us is the type of film that improves with repeat viewings. I myself watched it more than once while preparing this review. I was introduced to more nuances, influences and appreciations and was truly entertained with each viewing. Take a look with some more depth below about Us which hits stores June 18th!


Us begins in the past: 1986 to be exact — a time significant for me as it’s the year I was born. The story begins with a shot of a vacation house, inside. We see an old-school TV set and on the TV, an ad for Hands Across America. Then we cut to Adelaide, a young girl and her family on vacation and visiting Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. She ends up wandering off and finding her way to a funhouse on the beach where she finds a doppelgänger in the mirror hall trying to find her way out. When she’s found, Adelaide is traumatized and left unable to speak following the incident.

Flash to the present and an adult Adelaide (played brilliantly by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family, husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and children, Zora and Jason are headed to the same vacation home in Santa Cruz. Adelaide has evolved, found her voice and upon the assistance of her husband agreed to go back to where her past experience has haunted her. Adelaide seems un-phased upon arrival, but becomes more and more uncomfortable as she learns that there will be a visit to the beach. There they meet up with friends, The Tyler Family (Elizabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker), who have also come to Santa Cruz for a getaway. Their meeting is terse and the families don’t actually seem like real friends at all. While at the beach, Jason wanders off and finds a figure who is standing in the sand. The figure is not shown as anything but a standing person who is also bleeding.

After the 80’s setup and the present day introduction what follows is the true meat of the story. Us is full of revelations and has many layers. Once we get past the fairly simple introduction to the idea of doppelgängers in real life, there are many more details that become evident as the film unfolds. Us takes its time to tell its story. We next see the family back at home, at night. Adelaide is shaken and wants to leave. While discussing her need to go home with Gabe, the power suddenly goes out and Jason reveals that there is a family outside – Red, Abraham, Umbrae and Pluto… From there, all hell breaks loose as the Wilson family fights for its life through the night.

To go on would only be spoiling the fun and thought provoking story for those who haven’t seen it. I personally was totally entertained by this film overall. The story unfolds in a leisurely way, setting up scene after scene with tons of atmosphere, and some truly wonderful reveals. There are tense moments permeated thoughtfully with comedy. The audience is also treated to some great moments of thrilling action. Performances overall are wonderful as well. The climactic scenes unfold in such a way that there’s almost a gothic approach to how they are set up and filmed. This is truly how to make a modern day thriller. A way to distance yourself from the rest, but also bring in those audiences that aren’t interested in swaying away from mainstream films. In the end, this is a film that begs to be viewed multiple times, giving the viewer new information with each viewing and giving viewers something to think about beyond the kills and the violence.


  • Encoding: HEVC/H.265
  • Resolution: 4K Upscale of 2K Digital Intermediate (Filmed at 3.4K)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: There is a noticeable uptick in clarity over the standard blu-ray here. Backgrounds and foregrounds are easily distinguishable and many more fine detailed moments are seen throughout the film. There are no soft shots anywhere in this one!
  • Depth: Depth is as to be expected with a UHD transfer. Nothing is flying off the screen but there are many scenes showing a wide range of colors and textures that wouldn’t be as defined on the standard Blu-ray Disc.
  • Black Levels: This transfer shines in the black level department. Scenes at night are thoughtfully filmed, and the blacks are deep. You can make out the details even in the darkest scenes without any grey blacks messing up the look of the film.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors look wonderful throughout. Night time scenes reproduce colors beautifully especially in the opening boardwalk scene. Day time scenes on the beach have a summery glow to them and the vacation home has some nice greens too. Red is a significant color for this feature and it’s appearance on this disc is a standout. The interior shots show a dusty vintage look that enhances the mood, especially in the more creepy scenes in darker lit moments.
  • Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are natural and beautiful. Bodies and faces are shown in such a way that we are left with nothing to wonder about. Pores, blemishes, scars and more are shown faithfully and we are treated to a pure look for flesh tones.
  • Noise/Artifacts: None


  • Audio Formats: English Dolby Atmos (core TrueHD 7.1), French and Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
  • Dynamics: Dynamics are great overall. The mix prioritizes all its sound effects in each channel effectively.  Ocean waves and birds in nature fill the lower and height surrounds in outdoor scenes. Dialogue heard off camera is placed perfectly and overall everything sounds bright and clear and right where it needs to be.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Bass is clearly a huge part of what makes this mix great. From the first time we hear a source cue (a great song by Janelle Monae, I Like That) we are treated to a deep rumble. Crashing waves, the score, and several tense or creepy moments also utilize the low end in creative and punchy  ways!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds are used for a lot of good atmospherics. As to be expected in a thriller we hear things that aren’t present on screen in those channels. We hear chatter and seagulls at daytime beach scenes, during chase moments we hear foot falls of those not on screen and other natural sounds that would be present in their respective settings shine in the surround channels.
  • Height: Height channels are used in more subtle ways here. Usually for nature sounds, the sound of a boat engine and music.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is loud and clear and front and center. Spot on!


This 4K Blu-ray Disc comes with a slew of short sweet extra features, a code for a digital copy and a nice matte slipcover. The extras offer up some interesting information but they aren’t very long, so don’t expect to be overly enthralled with them. The extras are as follows:

  • The Monsters Within Us: (4K SDR, 4:45) A look at the 4 leads and their characters and their counterparts
  • Tethered Together: Making Us Twice: (4K SDR, 7:29) about how the actors and filmmakers had to shoot many scenes twice and the challenges of filming this way.
  • Redefining the Genre: Jordan Peele’s Brand of Horror: (4K SDR, 5:31) Peele and others on the influences, film favorites and what inspires him to make the films he does.
  • The Duality of Us: (4K SDR, 9:56) Jordan Peele discusses his own fear of Doppelgängers, the film’s portrayals of them and more. This one is truly interesting.
  • Becoming Red: (4K SDR, 4:09) Lupita Nyong’o prepares her character between takes. Nyong’o shows some great acting techniques in this short feature.
  • Scene Explorations: (4K SDR) Jordan Peele and others go over several key scenes here.
  • Deleted Scenes: (4K SDR, 6:28) titles: I Am Not Even Near You, Rabbit Season, That’s Badass, Driftwood, The P Is Silent, and I Want To Go Home
  • We’re All Dying: (4K SDR, 6:22) Footage and Outtakes from the scene at the beach
  • As Above, So Below: Grand Pax De Deux: (4K SDR, 5:02) A Dance between Zora and Umbrae is shown here


Us begs viewers to watch this film again for many reasons. The film is wonderful for all the ways it is different from other thriller films. I don’t want to call it a horror film because I don’t believe it is a horror film. I did however find myself truly liking it from moment one. That’s not to say this film will without flaws for some. The length may be an issue for some, as the film does take its time to get going. This wasn’t a problem for me, as the setup felt rewarding as the story began to unravel after the “There’s a family outside” moment. There will also be those who come in expecting a horror creepshow and for those I say this… Change your expectation. What we have here is a thriller over anything. This movie is more about tension and thought over jump scares and gore. For me, this was an excellent modern thriller with first-rate performances, a great location, and phenomenal visuals. Worth a purchase for fans of thrillers and worth a rental if you’re unsure. Technical merits on this one are excellent, and for me anyway, the re-watch-ability of this one makes it worth the purchase!



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