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Us: What Jordan Peele And The Cast Want You To Learn From The Film

It isn't long now until Jordan Peele's hotly anticipated second horror feature Us arrives in theaters — and before you head out to get the pants scared off you, there are a few things Peele and the film's cast want you to know. 

Chatting with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the premiere of Us in New York City earlier this week, Peele and stars Lupita Nyong'o (who plays Adelaide Wilson and her evil doppelgänger Red), Winston Duke (Gabriel "Gabe" Wilson and Abraham), and Evan Alex (Jason Wilson and Pluto) revealed what they want viewers to learn while watching the film and what they hope people do after the credits roll. 

"I want moviegoers to be thinking, 'Ok, what the eff did I just see? I need to process it.' I want them to be feeling like, 'I had fun. And now I need to talk about it,'" Peele said of Us, which follows the Wilson family as they travel to Adelaide's childhood home for a summer get-away. There, they meet their friends Kitty and Josh Tyler (Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, respectively), but are soon faced with a horde of uninvited guests: people who look exactly like they do, carrying giant scissors and harboring an intense desire to kill. 

Duke shared with the outlet that he hopes viewers can do some serious self-reflection after seeing Us, which is (and no spoilers here) bound to be much more than meets the eye. "I hope moviegoers really take an introspective eye at themselves and really wonder their role in cultures of power: Who do you render speechless? Who do you render invisible? Who bears the burden of your privilege?" the actor said. 

Peele added, "We are our own worst enemy — how? Think about this as sort of the collective dark side of all of us and, that way, if you're looking at the problems of the world and pointing your finger out, then ask yourself: 'What's my part in it?'"

As for Nyong'o, she revealed that she hopes audiences are" confronted by themselves. Young actor Alex offered a powerful takeaway he feels all Us viewers should leave the theater with: "Be aware of your decisions. Because sometimes people will make decisions that they're going to regret in the future."

Addressing the audience at the premiere, Peele also said, "When we have an Us, we have a Them. So whatever Us means to you, however you take this film, think about how you treat Them and think about if you really look at Us and our responsibility for the evils in the world."

Just as Peele's feature film directorial debut Get Out did, Us explores social themes, here diving into elements of duality and identity. For Us composer Michael Abels, he feels the doppelgänger strangers, known in the film as the Tethered, embody underprivileged individuals. 

"To me, the doppelgängers represent the underprivileged. I feel like they are people who haven't had opportunities. They could be any one of us. Except that we're somehow the lucky ones and they aren't. You are both terrified by the doppelgängers and you empathize with them," he stated. 

Heidecker shared that the Tethered are a horrifying brainchild of writer-director Peele meant to represent the "worst-case scenario" of "somebody that's basically you, coming to get you." Producer Ian Cooper agreed, further that the villains' costumes are purposefully "reminiscent of classical horror movie villain iconography," intended to boost the creep factor. The visuals and the storytelling come together to ask the audience a difficult question: "What if you're literally confronted with yourself as an actual enemy and what that would do to you, both physically and psychologically?"

Though the social media embargo for Us lifted in mid-March, and the film itself is set to launch for Thursday previews in just a few hours from the time of this writing, everyone is honoring the "post no spoilers" code of conduct. Those involved with the film have kept a tight lip on plot details, and film critics have omitted from their reviews of Us any information that might give away too much information. We don't feel we're alone in saying that the whole world is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to witness Us on the big screen for themselves — and when that moment comes, it's evident that they'll learn a great deal about themselves and the people around them. 

Us opens wide on Friday, March 22