There may still be a few months until Jordan Peele's newest movie hits theaters, but that doesn't mean horror fans can't enjoy plenty of thrills and chills in the meantime. Since the trailer's release on Christmas Day, fans have been analyzing the clip over and over, and terrifying fan theories based on the Us trailer have taken over social media.
The trailer opens on the Wilson family — led by Lupita Nyong'o and Black Panther breakout Winston Duke — on their way to a beach vacation, which quickly becomes derailed after a creepy family in masks appears in their driveway. The figures manage to break into the Wilson house, and reveal themselves to be terrifying doppelgängers of the Wilsons themselves. "They look exactly like us. They think like us. They know where we are," Nyong'o's character, Adelaide, says in the trailer about the monsters, known as "The Tethered." "They won't stop until they kill us... or we kill them."
And while there are plenty of terrifying moments and scary imagery to keep audiences on edge while watching the trailer — after all, Peele did tell Entertainment Weekly that he wanted to focus on "iconic imagery" for this film, revealing that the rabbits and scissors that feature heavily in the trailer are "scary things to me, and both inane things" — fans have supplied some theories about the movie that are even scarier than the Wilsons' creepy doubles.
Here are some of the best Us fan theories — just make sure to lock your doors after reading them.
1. It's A Metaphor For The Ways Black People Hide Their True Selves To Fit Into Society
By far, the most popular fan theory floating around social media is that the Wilson family have hidden many aspects of themselves and their culture in order to fit into a white-dominated society. As a result, according to Huffington Post editor Philip Lewis and fans @DreSmithJr and @BonaFideSage, "The Tethered" are a physical representation of the aspects of themselves that they've kept hidden in order to assimilate.
Despite the theory's prevalence on Twitter, Peele told EW that while Us is about a black family, it's "not about race," the way Get Out was. "I can't think of a horror movie of this nature with a family in the center of it that uses a Black family," the Oscar winner said. "Even though this movie is not about race, I felt like it was an important piece of the project to have a black family in the center." So, the odds of this theory becoming a reality seems slim. But, then again, Peele might just be trying to ensure nothing gets spoiled before the movie's release.
2. "The Tethered" Are The Actual Protagonists Of The Movie
Another popular theory among horror fans, including @Smooth_Orator and @nicewhitit, is that "The Tethered" aren't actually the monsters in the film, but are really the protagonists, who are fighting to take back their lives from their clones. In other words: nothing is ever what it seems, and you can never trust what the trailers tell you.
3. Adelaide's Doppelganger Wants To Steal Her Life
One of the major themes present in the Us trailer is the implication of scientific experimentation and cloning — after all, that creepy wall of rabbits seems to imply something nefarious is going on. And one theory, posited by author Alexandra Erin, is that the clones were created by Nyong'o's character's twin, who created a family like her sister's in order to steal her life. After all, the "Tethered" version of Adelaide doesn't look exactly like the "real" Adelaide, which could imply that she's not a doppelganger, but her own person.
4. "The Tethered" Are The Result Of Scientific Experimentation
One of the most terrifying shots in the Us trailer features a close up on a single rabbit, before the camera zooms out and we see an entire wall full of bunnies in cages, which hints at a creepy scientific experiment. According to @blasianFMA, this could mean that "The Tethered" are hoping to either break free of their terrifying origins or they are attempting to kill and take over the lives of the people they're based on.
5. The Wilsons Had Another Child Who Died Before The Movie Takes Place
In the trailer, there's a little girl with pigtails who is heavily featured, but isn't introduced as a member of the Wilson family. So, naturally, that plus the notable song choice of "I Got 5 On It" led @ScarletEstelle to think that the little girl is another one of Adelaide and Gabe's children, who probably died before the events of the movie take place. But naturally, that's not the only theory tied to the little girl's presence that Twitter has been debating ...
6. Adelaide Accidentally Killed Her Daughter, And The Movie Is About Trauma
At one point in the trailer, Jason, the Wilson's youngest child (Evan Alex) pulls up his mask, which prompts his doppelgänger to lift his own mask. But unlike Jason, the double has a horribly scarred face, which looks like the result of a terrible burn. That, combined with the fiery car crash that Adelaide sees at one point implies that there is some kind of terrible fire that is haunting the Wilsons.
7. "The Tethered" Are The Personification Of The Wilson's Dark Side
This Us theory from @DragonflyJonez plays off of the song in the film's trailer, Luniz's classic, "I Got 5 On It." And while it might seem a little odd, Peele's habit of using music as foreshadowing in his films (see: Get Out opening with "Redbone"'s "stay woke" refrain). Plus the tag line, "We are our own worst enemy," seems to hint that the Wilsons will be fighting against themselves, or their evil twins.
8. "The Tethered" Are People Who Escaped From The Sunken Place
Sure, this shared universe theory, from @pwat_, might seem suspect — after all, the ending of Get Out didn't easily lend itself to a sequel — but considering Peele's ability to shock and surprise audiences at every turn, it's not totally out of the question.
9. It's A Never-Ending Cycle Of Death
By far, the darkest and most twisted theory, this suggestion from @beyjungce posits that the entire Us movie is about an endless cycle of death, haunting, and reincarnation. And based on how Adelaide and the Wilsons seem to go insane while attempting to fight off The Tethered, it's not totally out of the question for the family to end up taking the place of their evil doppelgängers, destined to haunt the next happy family that comes their way.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until Us is released in theaters on March 15 in order to find out if any of these terrifying theories are actually true. In the meantime, good luck trying to get "I Got 5 On It" out of your head.