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SYNOPSIS:
A family's serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgangers terrorise them.

Review by Louise Keller:
In an audacious conceit, director Jordan Peele has concocted a humdinger of a tale that is intense, scary, funny and thought provoking in equal measures. You could say it's as chilling as all Get Out (pun intended), the 2017 breakout debut feature by Peele, who raises the ante here, with a horror story in which shadowy doppelgangers are the nemesis. The interesting thing about the film is that it plays on different levels. You can enjoy it as superficial scary entertainment with its packaging of blood, laughs and thrills or consider the concepts further and read something much more profound into its themes. Either way, Peele has created a winner - a thriller with scissor-sharp focus and wonderfully proficient execution. Don't miss it!

There is a haunting image of a little girl with saucer eyes carrying a toffee apple. Her black skin almost melds into the black night sky. Beautifully shot, this engaging prologue set in 1986 paints the scene: the beach at Santa Cruz, a storm brewing, the brightly lit amusement park and the spooky hall of mirrors where the little girl heads as she slips away from her parents and discovers more than her reflection. Superb editing and a satanic-inspired staccato choral score add the final touches to the chilling journey we are about to undertake.

The film is best enjoyed by knowing as little as possible about what happens. Suffice to say, the exposition picks up 30 years later when Adelaide (now played by Lupito Nyong'o) has just arrived at their holiday home with husband Gabe (Winston Duke, providing good comic relief) and their two children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). The nightmare begins when one of the kids announces: 'There's a family in the driveway'.

Giant gold-coated scissors, golf clubs, baseball bats, fire pokers and other implements are efficiently put to bloody use as the Wilson family finds themselves face to face with their doppelgangers. How spooky can that be! Facing the enemy; when the enemy is you! I laughed when 'call the police' turns into rock music a la The Police in their friends' high tech home where the smart home assistant is clearly not that smart. Peele uses all the tricks of the trade with elements such as dark shadows, creaks and unsettling soundscape. Watch for the rabbits!

Nyong'o is superb, playing two roles - her large eyes and beautiful features an interesting parallel to that of Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out. Much of the imagery is haunting as the narrative about underground tunnel dwellers and their tethered existence plays out in the sun-kissed world.

There are all kinds of ramifications and allegories for the thinking man as the exposition draws to an extended conclusion, along with clever twists and surprises. The masks we wear. Peele is indeed an interesting filmmaker with a unique vision and marvelous execution.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

US (MA15+)
(US, 2019)

CAST: Lupita Nyong'o, Windston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex

PRODUCER: Jason Blum, Ian Cooper, Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele

DIRECTOR: Jordan Peele

SCRIPT: Jordan Peele

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mike Gioulakis

EDITOR: Nicholas Monsieur

MUSIC: Michael Abels

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ruth De Jong

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Unviversal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 28, 2019







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