The Tethered.
Image: Universal Pictures

Congratulations, you’ve taken over the country, killed your naively exploitative doppelganger, and have a snazzy red jumpsuit to boot. Now what? For the Tethered from Us, that’s a meaningful question, connected to another, more general question about these sympathetic antagonists: what do they do all day?

Us gives us some general ideas about how the Tethered exist, and what their connection to their other halves is like in practicality, but it leaves a lot to the imagination. Recently, at an FYC screening held by Collider, Peele was asked about what, precisely, the Tethered do, and he had a good answer:

“The shorthand cheap version that I sort of would throw out as the general starting point guideline is, they’re doing what we’re doing but the scary version. Whatever that means, it’s the scary version. And the momentum that we’re trying to build thematically in the movie is trying to get to this idea that the version up here, the normal version, may be just as crazy as the below version even though we’re used to this kind of insanity. You know, our mania is in consumerism and one-upmanship, in cutting our faces open, going to amusement parks where we pay money to get in these devices where we scream. I wanted to sort of put this connection together [so], at the end of the film, you’re sort of left unsure who the scarier ones are.”

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So now that the Tethered are in charge, does that mean they’re running a society like ours—just scarier? Scary Presidents and Scary Congressman and Scary Mall Shoppers Buying Christmas Presents For Their Ungrateful Scary Children. I like that image, and I would watch that sequel: Us 2: Scary Normal Life. It’d be a multi-camera sitcom.


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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