When I started getting into movies, I didn't really see the appeal of horror. At the time, franchises like Saw and Final Destination were releasing sequel after bloody sequel, focusing more on creatively dismembering their protagonists than any actual story. Slashers had run their course and gotten stale and all the classics like The Exorcist, The Shining, and The Silence of the Lambs had been parodied and copied so many times that the original psychological terror of them was lost on me.
Then, a little Austrailian movie came out in 2014 called The Babadook, and it blew me away. No jumpscares, no extreme amounts of gore, just pure dread as the events of the movie played out. It opened my eyes to what the horror genre could do, in terms of narrative and symbolism. I no longer saw horror as just a morbid curiosity, but as a respectable genre, capable of thought-provoking storytelling as well as scares. Since then, I've kept my eyes open for more, and I'm glad I have: Get Out, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, Midsommar, IT: Chapters I & II, and of course, Us.
At first, I didn't think it lived up to the hype, but the more I looked back on it and rewatched it, I picked up on more details. The allusions to real-world class politics and the foreshadowing of all the twists and turns of the story became a lot clearer to me, and I enjoyed the film a lot more because of it. Plus, the Tethered are hands down one of the scariest horror antagonists in film.
I mean, think about it! Imagine someone with your face and likeness, forced to live their entire life through poverty and turmoil while you take for granted the luxuries given to you, beyond willing to kill you for it all, burning with hatred and jealousy, armed with scissors sharp enough to cleave you open, a thousand-yard stare that can burrow holes into your psyche, and the intimate knowledge of all your flaws and behaviors.
That's horror! And what's a better way to celebrate Halloween than to embrace this horror?