The Ending Of Jordan Peele’s ‘Us,’ Explained

It was all right there in the trailer.

There was Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) looking, dressing and acting like a regular degular Black mom in a car with her husband and two kids, headed to the beach. Then, Luniz’ “I Got 5 on It,” comes on the radio and she tries to get her young son Jason to…snap along with the song. “Get in rhythm,” she tells him, but sis, which one? She’s snapping on the one and the two and the three and a half. Adelaide is a fraud.


If that scene from the trailer wasn’t enough, the creepy poster reveal that dropped last month revealed the twist.

The smiling Adelaide mask is moved to the side and the doppelganger Red’s face is the one revealed beneath it, crying, in Peele’s now signature horror aesthetic.

But is Adelaide the villain or is Red? The answer depends on perspective. Just as Peele designed it, the question is really for our own introspection.When asked “who are you people?” by the humans, Red answers, “We’re Americans.” We created the monsters. The monsters are Us.

In the opening credits of Us, Peele alerts the audience to the network of abandoned, underground tunnels that exist across America. The average American resident doesn’t even know of their existence, let alone what they were designed for. Red tells the story of the U.S. government creating doppelgangers in a lab deep in the earth, for the purpose of controlling humans. It doesn’t work; the clones don’t have their own souls, so the government abandoned their experiments, leaving the doppelgangers to sludge around in these underground tunnels like zombies, eating only raw rabbits and mimicking a distorted version of the lives of their human counterparts above ground. They’re in a Sunken Place, if you will. But, not for much longer. The apocalypse has come to America, and it’s time for the doppelgangers to get their revenge on humanity for this banishment and abandonment.

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