This article contains major spoilers for Us, in theaters now.
Director Jordan Peele has quickly moved past the comedic genius of Comedy Central's Key & Peele, establishing himself firmly as one of the horror genre's most refreshing and unique voices. 2017's Get Out got the train out the station, and now Us has Peele moving full steam ahead.
While many call Peele an upcoming filmmaker (and he is relatively new to helming his own movies), his distinct voice, powerful vision and the way he holds art up as a mirror to society's ills shape him as something more than an upstart. In his two horror movies so far, as bold a statement as it is, Peele is well on his way to becoming this generation's Alfred Hitchcock.
The heft of Peele's films is undeniable. The cast, stories being told, sociopolitical statements made, style of horror, haunting ambiance, dark twists and chilling scores are all similar to Hitchcock, whom he's never denied as a major influence on his career. Get Out was a deep dive into the human psyche, with levity cleverly crafted in at key intervals to create a light yet emotionally heavy and super tense atmosphere, as is the case with so many Hitchcock films.
The sense of mystery in Get Out felt similar to Hitchcock's 1943 mystery thriller Shadow of a Doubt, not to mention the way Peele patterned the confined space known as "the Sunken Place," where someone could lose their identity, boasted eerie tinges of the psychosomatic distress found in 1958's Vertigo.
Peele's sophomore effort, Us, also blends in several sub-genres -- horror, psychological thriller, suspense and mystery -- to produce something that can rival the best of Hitchcock's blood-curdling flicks, namely The Birds and Psycho (especially seen in the mother-son twist at the end of Us). In short, it's about emotional torture as much as it is physical, and this is where Peele really succeeds in deserving this title. Just look at the way Peele focuses on the gaze of actors, such as the scared Daniel Kaluuya and the desperate Lupita Nyong'o, in his movies and you can see he's perfecting the "Hitchcockian" style to remarkable effect.