When Jordan Peele – primarily known for his comedy work as one half of sketch duo Key & Peele – released his directorial debut, 2017's Get Out, he blindsided audiences and critics alike with an instant horror classic that steered the cultural conversation for months.
It even gained him Oscar recognition – ultra-rare for the genre – winning Best Original Screenplay, and earning nods for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor.
The bar has been set extremely high, then, for his follow-up Us – another all-new, conceptually original, socially-conscious horror.
With the film nearing release, here's what you need to know.
The film follows a family – Adelaide, her husband Gabe, and their two kids – heading off on a beachside holiday. But what begins as a relaxing getaway soon turns into something much more nightmarish, when their creepy doppelgängers – decked out in red robes and brandishing gold scissors – turn up, kicking off a kill-or-be-killed fight for survival.
Peele has assembled another top cast for this one.
Lupita Nyong'o takes the lead here as family matriarch Adelaide (and her uncanny double).
The role of her husband Gabe is taken by Black Panther break-out star Winston Duke, who memorably played M'Baku in Ryan Coogler's Marvel movie.
Their kids Zora and Jason are played by Shahadi Wright-Joseph and Evan Alex, respectively.
Adelaide and Gabe's friends Mr. and Mrs. Tyler are played by Tim Heidecker (aka Tim of Tim & Eric) and The Handmaid's Tale's Elisabeth Moss.
Not that we know of, but that's become one of the early rumours. Us hasn't been announced as a quasi-sequel or spin-off to Get Out, but that hasn't stopped the internet from theorising about how the two might connect or share a universe. Some of those links are fairly tenuous – viewers have noted the presence of rabbits in the Us trailer, and the prevalence of the song 'Run Rabbit Run' in Get Out. More tangible is the linked imagery between the two films:
Another rumour posits that Adelaide and Gabe's family are actually hosts for brain-swapped white people, a la Get Out, with the doppelgängers having escaped from the Sunken Place to take their revenge – a theory which amusingly seems to have sprung from Adelaide clicking her fingers out of time to 'I Got 5 On It' in the Us trailer. We'll admit, they're all pretty far-fetched, but Peele did previously tease that the Get Out universe could extend into his later films.
Us is in Australian cinemas now! Get along to see which rumours (if any!) are true, and test whether or not you'll be able to EVER get a good night's sleep again...