Scary movies are not my thing. My senior year in high school I went to my friend’s Halloween party where he showed slasher movies in the basement level den. I shrieked along with everyone else over Friday the 13th part 18 or whatever the hell installment it was, only able to hang in there because that movie was seriously the height of ridiculousness. But about ten minutes into Texas Chainsaw Massacre I pole vaulted out of my seat and ran up the stairs to the kitchen as fast as I could. I sat with my friend’s mom for the next hour, eating homemade cookies while everyone else covered their eyes in front of the TV downstairs.
“It opens next weekend,” I said as I waved my hands over the flames of the fire pit on the rooftop bar. “When are we going?”
“In the daytime, before brunch,” said Steff.
“It looks too scary, you guys.”
“Listen. We’ll go to the evening show, just as it’s getting dark, get the crap scared out of us, and then go get drinks afterwards.”
“Besides, we have to support Jordan Peele,” said Alicia.
Steff finked out by Thursday. Alicia was my sole Us watching buddy Saturday night.
My head started pulsing with tension about five minutes into the movie. This morning, I can still see the dents in my palms from where I dug my finger nails in.
When the final credits rolled, Alicia said, “What did you think?”
“I’m trying to figure that out.” With that twist ending and everything. This is why I don’t like horror movies. Those damn twist endings!
“I’m still processing,” said Alicia.
“Let’s process over drinks.”
We left the theater and started down the sidewalk towards this new wine bar I’d heard about. Across the street, police officers were chasing a homeless man into traffic on First. I’m not kidding. The man looked like the Jeremiah 11:11 sign-holding dude from the movie, too. A coincidence??
“We need to get to that bar,” said Alicia. “Away from this nonsense.”
“Away from that?” I pointed to the movie poster on the side of the theater building, the one with the creepy gloved hand holding a pair of scissors against the backdrop of a red jumpsuit.
“Yes. Away from anything red.”
We walked into the wine bar.
And were immediately greeted with columns of red mood lighting.
We hung a quick left to the seating area by the DJ. A gorgeous white chandelier hung nearby, and on the other side of our table, stretching up to the ceiling, was a wall of wine.
Not a wall of rabbits in cages.
“So, I can work with the Tethered People thing,” said Alicia. “But what was going on with the rabbits?”
I’d overheard a teenager in the theater asking her friends the exact same thing.
“It’s gotta be an Alice in Wonderland reference,” I said. “When Lupita was going down the stairs to the underground rooms, I was thinking she is literally going down the rabbit hole. I’ve also heard Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was some sort of political satire. I really do need to read it.”
We talked more about what the underlying meaning of the movie was, despite Jordan Peele saying that he wanted to just make a straight up horror movie, before giving up and moving on to the topic of the current dating scene (equally terrifying).
I still can’t tell you what the hell the movie was about, because a) I don’t want to spoil it and b) I can’t tell you what the hell the movie was about. I can tell you that I stayed up until one o’clock in the morning reading all the spoilery articles I’d avoided until post movie viewing. And that while everyone’s listing the twenty million horror movies Peele references in Us, the only homage I saw was to The Birds, and I didn’t see any mention of that one. And that when I saw Lupita Nyong’o’s name lead the opening credits, it made me sooo happy, because a dark skinned black woman is the lead in a horror genre film. And that I am still thinking about what the hell the movie is about. And that I’m already trying to figure out when I can see it again.