Jordan Peele's Us is the sort of movie that leaves you with a lot of questions. A lot of things are left intentionally unclear and what explanations are given seem less than reliable.
However, if you're like me, Us also really leaves you wanting to know more. The story of Us is so bizarre that you can't help but become engrossed in it. The film's ending also certainly leaves open the possibility that there could be more story to tell, as very little of the larger conflict is actually resolved.
However, one person that isn't losing any sleep over what happens after Us fades to black is Tim Heidecker, who plays both the character of Josh and his "tethered" doppelganger Tex, in the film. I had a chance to speak with Heidecker as part of the new Blu-Ray release of Us, and he told me That Us doesn't need anymore story to be told, because everything you need to know about the world is in the movie itself. According to Heidecker...
It didn’t feel like the kind of movie that needed or wanted a sequel. I don’t think [Jordan Peele] built it that way. I think everything you need to know about that movie is in the movie. It reminds me of the end of The Sopranos. It’s like, that’s all the access you have to the information. It is now contained in that 90 minutes or however long it is. Thinking about what exists after that is not really time well spent.
At the end of Us, the Wilson family successfully defeats their doppelgangers (more or less) and drives off, looking for safety. While it seems they will be ok, the last thing we see on screen is the Hands Across America line of jumpsuited "tethered" stretching across the countryside as far as we can see. While our heroes may have survived, the larger issue of the tethered clearly has not been dealt with.
For Tim Heidecker, however, what happens after the fade to black isn't important. Us is only giving us a limited peek into this world because that's all it's there to do. The point is to experience that story until it's end, and when it's over, that's all there is.
For the most part, I agree. I don't really think Us is a movie that needs a sequel, though even Jordan Peele himself has suggested he could, at least in theory, return to the world of the movie. Some questions are better left unanswered.
Having said that, I'm not sure that thinking about those answers is a waste of time. Much like the finale of The Sopranos that Heidecker mentions, the point of the ambiguous ending is specifically to get you thinking about what happens next. The point may be specifically to not give you a definitive answer, but clearly the movie wants the audience to consider the question.
Us is available now in Digital HD and will arrive on Blu-Ray June 18.