After Jordan Peele blew audiences away with Get Out, moviegoers have long been looking forward to the release of the writer/director's followup Us, which hit theaters this week. Major spoilers ahead. There are many different scenes during the Wilson family's nightmarish vacation that will make you jump out of your seat, but the scariest scene in Us by far is the moment when their doppelgängers — a.k.a. the family's "Tethers" — arrive during a power outage in the middle of the night. The suspense is paralyzing, and the fact that this happens pretty early on in the movie will only increase the sense of dread you feel while watching it.
A grown-up Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) senses that she might have another run in with her Tether, Red, when she returns to Santa Cruz on a family vacation. She tells her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), on their first night that she'd had a haunting experience there as a kid back in 1986, which Gabe tries to brush off as an irrational fear. Then, the power goes out, in a classic horror movie turn, reminiscent of Halloween 4. Even though you know that a duplicate family shows up based the Us trailers, their arrival is way freakier when you actually see it all play out.
"There's a family in our driveway," Jason (Evan Alex) tells his parents and his sister, and you can tell that whatever is about to happen is really not good. It's like the moment when you're on a roller coaster that's about to go down a big drop, and you know you can't stop it. For a few minutes, the identical family stands menacingly still outside, despite Gabe's insistence that he's going to run them off and then that he's going to call the cops. Then Jason's masked Tether Pluto crawls away like the monsters in The Grudge, and Gabe's twin, Abraham starts breaking in through the front door, injuring Gabe in the process.
Pluto and sister Zora's evil twin, Umbrae (Shahadi Wright Joseph), both run away into the darkness, leaving audiences at the edge of their seats wondering what will come next. That kind of suspense never truly breaks throughout the rest of the film, because Us is a classic horror movie that follows a predator vs. prey formula. At the beginning of the movie, when you first see the family of Tethered twins in all red, you really don't know what to expect, especially since the trailers don't explain who they are exactly or what they want from the Wilsons.
The image of the family holding hands at the top of the driveway might remind you of that famous image from The Shining, of two identical twin girls standing in the hallway like statues. Peele very well could have used Kubrick's adaptation of the Stephen King novel as inspiration, since he also included a subtle Shining Easter egg in Get Out, according to Time.
In Us, the first appearance of the Tethered is just the beginning of the nightmare. Not only do they look creepy as hell, but you know without a doubt that there's so much more to come.