A detailed plot summary for everyone too scared to see Us – FanSided

Us / Photo by Claudette Barius – © Universal Pictures
The next trap door in Jordan Peele’s mind of horror is open, and with it comes one of the most thought-provoking horror movies of our generation. Us, a film of terror dripping with moments of hilarity and insanity, opened to both box office and critical success this weekend.
Here’s a detailed plot description of what critics are calling a colossal cinematic achievement.
Us opens on a wide shot of a television screen. The year is 1986, and a Hands Across America commercial plays.
Cut to Adelaide (Madison Curry), a young girl vacationing with her parents in Santa Cruz. While at a seaside carnival, her father plays a game and wins Adelaide a Michael Jackson “Thriller” shirt. She puts on the baggy shirt immediately and follows in her parent’s shadows as they head to the next attraction.
Her father, distracted by yet another game, fails to notice as she wanders into an abandoned funhouse of mirrors. The funhouse is dark, isolated, and silent enough for Adelaide to hear a tune she whistles echo around her.
She suddenly bumps into a mirror and realizes that she is back to back with another young girl. Adelaide turns slowly. The reflection doesn’t immediately turn. When she finally does, there’s something sinister in the posture and eyes of the face looking back. Adelaide’s eyes bulge in fear.
In 2019, Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) cruises along a long road with her husband, Gabriel (Winston Duke), and two children, Jason (Evan Alex) and Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph). After a pit stop at their summer home, the family heads to the beach in Santa Cruz, something, based on her demeanor, Adelaide isn’t quite comfortable with.
As the family draws closer to their final destination, a ghost from the past makes an appearance:
A man holding a sign reading “Jeremiah 11:11” was present when Adelaide first walked into the funhouse more than twenty years ago. This time, the same man is being pushed into the back of an ambulance, dead and bloody.
Shortly after, the Wilsons make their way to the beach to join the Tylers, a white, upper-class family. Their relationship is strained, held together by the fact that their daughters are close in age and the father’s constant rivalry.
When Adelaide looks up to check on her children, she notices Jason is missing, and, for a quick second, all hell breaks loose.
While on his way to the bathroom, Jason sees a man dressed in a long trench coat with blood dripping from his fingers. He’s an omen of evil against a sunny backdrop.
Jason returns from the bathroom undisturbed and stumbles into the arms of his frightened mother. The family, having had enough adventure for one afternoon, decide to settle in for the night.
Back at home, with the lights out and their children in bed, Gabriel and Adelaide return to their own bedroom, each with different intentions in mind. Gabriel is ready for action. Adelaide stares out the window, twitchy, nervous.
In a scene told from Adelaide’s reflection in her home’s window, we learn how, after her time in the funhouse, she stopped speaking. Her parents, struggling through a rough patch, wonder if their child has PTSD and, if so, what she saw that caused such a fright.
Adelaide tells Gabriel it’s time for them to go home. Things are lining up. If they stay any longer, the little girl in the mirror will come back.
Gabriel struggles to believe her story, but the couple is interrupted when Jason tells them there’s a family standing in their driveway.
Outside, masked in shadows, a family stands with hands interlocked. Gabriel, always the comic-relief, attempts to persuade the family to leave, first with insults, then with a bat.
The family isn’t having it. They storm into the home, breaking Gabriel’s leg on the way, and forcing the Wilsons into the living room.
The Wilsons stare in terror as four haunting reflections, each with a pair of golden scissors, take over their home.
Red, who is Adelaide’s “doppelganger,” begins to tell a story.
She describes how there once was a girl and she had a shadow. Anything the girl did, the shadow was forced to mirror in much worse circumstances. We learn that, as life is above, so it is below. When Adelaide ate good meals, Red ate raw rabbit. When Adelaide met Gabriel and fell in love, Red met Abraham, a brutal man she did not love, and was forced to be with him. When Adelaide needed a c-section, Red was forced to cut her child from her body with her own hands.
When asked who they are, Red smiles.
“We are Americans,” she croaks.
The Wilsons, in intense scenes set in the dark of the night, are forced to fight their counterparts for their lives. Gabriel must face Abraham on a boat he bought for the trip.  Jason is forced into a closet with a burned, fire-loving version of himself. Zora, a cross-country star, must run to save her life.
All the while, Adelaide and Red stare at one another. They are two reflections becoming one.
The Wilsons are able to escape their doppelgangers, Gabriel having to kill Abraham with his beloved boat to escape.
Not too far away, the Tylers prepare for bed in their luxurious home. Josh (Tim Heidecker), laid back and unsuspecting of what is happening just a couple of miles away, is jolted from his night of relaxation when his wife, Kitty (Elisabeth Moss), says she heard a noise outside.
In a blink, the Tylers’ home is been taken over by their doppelgangers. Unlike the Wilsons, they are not given a chance to fight back. Every member of the Tyler family is brutally stabbed with scissors.
The Wilsons, unaware of what has just happened to the Tylers, approach their residence in seek of refuge.
Adelaide is yanked from the arms of her family into the Tylers’ home by the doppelgangers, and once again, it is kill or be killed.
With better teamwork and coordination skills than any family would be expected to have after meeting their doppelgangers, the Wilson’s kill the murderous version of their friends and gather to figure out what is happening around the world.
They turn on the news and see that doubles across the US have come out of the tunnels and sewers to kill. Only the Wilsons seem aware at this point that they are doubles killing their other halves. As they kill, they join hands across America
Confident that the only way to survive is to drive to Mexico, Adelaide packs her family into the Tyler’s new car and heads towards what she hopes is a brighter future.
The world, however, is filled with death. Abandoned cars litter streets and dead bodies hang from windows. And just when they think they’ve made it to safety, they approach an abandoned car in the middle of the road. Jason’s doppelganger, who has been following the car the entire time with Red, takes a match and lights the car and himself on fire.
Adelaide, suddenly consumed, screams for the boy. Meanwhile, Red snatches Jason and takes him underground.
In one of the greatest showdowns of the film, Adelaide travels underground to save her child and kill Red once and for all.
When she finds Red at a chalkboard in a classroom, Red describes who the doppelgangers are once again. This time, she explains how they were created by an unknown power to control the above people and are called the Tethered. They are clones, but they are forced to share a soul. Eventually abandoned and left alone forever, they were driven to insanity.
Red describes the moment she and Adelaide crossed path at the funhouse, saying she couldn’t understand why Adelaide didn’t take her with her. Then, she describes the moment everything changed for the Tethered. We see flashes of Adelaide dancing on stage gracefully. Below, in the tunnels, Red mimics the moves perfectly, gliding across the floor with ease.
The other Tethered, upon watching Red dance, realized she is different. Red would be the one to bring them from the darkness of the tunnels to light. The Tethered prepared for years for their chance to seek revenge, in an event Red plans around her Hands Across America t-shirt to be called the Untethering.
Now, with Adelaide firmly in her grasp, Red plans to kill her and live the life she should have been given.
With “I Got 5 On It” by Luniz heightened to a terrifying crescendo in the background, Adelaide and Red fight for their lives. Adelaide, stabbed and wounded, can hardly keep up with Red as she uses her dance skills to dodge all attacks.
Adelaide, high on the adrenaline of survival, finally lands a life-taking blow, causing Red to fall to the ground. As Red fades away, she begins to whistle what sounds like the tune sung by Adelaide in the funhouse. Before she can finish, Adelaide strangles her to death, shutting her Tethered side up forever.
Adelaide finds Jason hidden in a locker. When his mother tries to look him in the eyes, Jason stares at her in bewilderment. She comforts him by telling him that they are safe.
Outside, Gabriel and Zora are ecstatic to reunite with their family.
All appears well. Then we’re gifted with another flashback.
We’re taken back to 1986, back to the funhouse where the horror started.
The sinister young girl in the mirror reaches out and grabs the girl on the outside by the neck. She drags the bewildered young girl underground to the tunnels, stealing her shirt and escaping above ground.
Perhaps the biggest twist of the entire film, it is revealed that Red was the happy, young girl stolen from her family, and living above ground is Red’s true Tethered half.
Back in 2019, Jason stares knowingly at his mother as she drives toward their new lives.
His mother, possibly aware of his attentiveness, smiles a bit.
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