Us ending explained: The meaning of the plot twist in the Jordan Peele horror film

25 March 2019, 16:23

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Everyone is losing it over how Jordan Peele's new horror film 'Us' ends...

Jordan Peele's new horror film Us is finally here and everyone is losing it over how it ends.

23 'Us' memes that will make you and your tethered laugh out loud

Us tells the chilling story of Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o), her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and their two children Zora (Shahidi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). The movie opens with Adelaide experiencing a terrifying incident as a child in which she stumbles across her doppelgänger in an abandoned mirror maze. Years later, history repeats itself, when Adelaide and her family meet a group of murderous lookalikes at their beach house.

It's wild and Lupita lowkey deserves two Oscars for both of her performances in the film.

Us ending explained - SPOILERS BELOW

Us ending explained: How does the Jordan Peele film end?
Us ending explained: How does the Jordan Peele film end? Picture: Universal Pictures

Throughout Us, it gradually becomes more clear what happened in the abandoned mirror maze all those years ago and who the doppelgängers are. After escaping their house and killing Gabe's lookalike Abraham, the Wilsons go to their friends' for safety. However, they find out that their friends have all been murdered by doppelgängers, kill them, turn on the news and learn that the same thing is happening all around the US.

The Wilsons' then attempt to flee the US via car but their own doppelgängers find them. Nevertheless, they run over Zora's (Umbrae) and trick Jason's (Pluto) into being burned alive after Pluto attempts to set their car on fire. Adelaide's (Red) then abducts Jason and Adelaide chases after them, returning to the mirror maze from her childhood. Here she goes through a secret tunnel into an underground facility full of rabbits.

Adelaide then finds Red who reveals all... well, almost all. The doppelgängers are a group of clones called the Tethered. The government created the Tethered in a bid to control the public but, after the experiment failed, the Tethered were left to rot underground. For generations, the Tethered did nothing except mimic whatever their above ground counterparts did and feed on rabbits. Red then organised their escape.

After Red's explanation, Adelaide manages to kill her and find Jason. They then return to Gabe and Zora and drive off in an abandoned ambulance. This is where it gets wild. Adelaide has a flashback in which she remembers that as a child Red knocked her out, chained her underground and switched places with her. In other words, she is actually Red and vice versa. She had just blocked out her trauma.


Adelaide then exchanges a glance with Jason (who becomes increasingly suspicious of his mother's identity) and the film ends with the camera panning out and showing doppelgängers holding hands in an extensive line around the US in the style of Hands Across America. This may seem odd but the actual first scene of Us is Adelaide as a child watching a promo for Hands Across America, which then must have inspired her escape as Red. It's her own demonstration.

There are actually multiple hints as to the fact that Adelaide is actually Red in the film. Adelaide doesn't eat meat (perhaps because she is unknowingly scarred by eating rabbits as a child), she says she struggles to talk (the Tethered can't speak except for Red, who is actually a human) and when she kills Red she lets out a primal scream (Red also whistles Itsy Bitsy Spider which she likely heard on Earth as Adelaide).

Not to mention, we see flashbacks of Adelaide being unable to speak after her maze incident as a child. Originally it looks like she is just scarred by her experience but, with context, it's clear that she is Red and she is only just learning to speak. Essentially, it becomes unclear who is right and who is wrong and makes you question your entire morality. Amazing.

Naturally, there are many other clues throughout the film and theories as to what it all means. What did you spot?

What did you think of the Us ending?