If you haven’t had the chance to catch the flick, don’t read any further as there are massive spoilers. Keep reading if you’re ready to learn a bit more about that especially huge twist at the end. Peele himself also sheds some light on what he was thinking when he put it together.
In an interview on the Empire podcast, Peele spoke on what the movie’s hidden meaning actually is about, at least in his eyes:
“This movie’s about maybe the monster is you,” he says. “It’s about us, looking at ourselves as individuals and as a group. The protagonist in the movie is the surrogate for the audience, so it felt like at the end of the day, I wasn’t doing my core theme any justice if I wasn’t revealing that we have been the bad guy in this movie. We’ve been following the villain. I say ‘villain’ lightly because I think there are many experiences of the film, and I think a lot of people go through a question of what is good and evil? Does that even exist? Both characters are lovable and terrifying, based on the lives they’ve led they’ve just sort of inverted the paths.”
It’s OK if you’re still feeling confused after reading that as it doesn’t really answer any questions you likely have.
One of the final scenes finds Adelaide looking at her son Jason from the driver’s seat in a commandeered vehicle. She flashes him a knowing smile. However, Jason gives her an apprehensive look and pulls his monster mask down over his face. Some have questioned what this smile conveys, whether it’s a sinister secret or a silent “I’ll keep your secret” glance.
“Adelaide and Jason sharing that moment at the end. I’m purposefully leaving it a bit vague as to what exactly he knows or how far he’s come in figuring out what, if anything, he’s figured out,” Peele explains in the podcast. “I think the little smile she gives him is a lot of things. I think it’s a connection to the evil smile she once had as a little girl, but also a sort of understanding that her family unit was stronger from this experience.”
Those weren’t exactly the answers we were looking for, but at this point, even a little clarification is appreciated.
Us is playing in theaters now, and you can check out the trailer below.