Peele takes his time introducing us to the Wilsons, a ridiculously appealing, upper-middle class nuclear family enjoying the splendors that come from working hard in America: nice car, summer home, and dad just bought himself a used boat — which is itself a metaphor for the wonders of capitalism. Sure, that boat’s going to require some work, some elbow grease, some investment; that’s because if you’re an honest man, nothing worth having comes easy. And once that boat is cherry, the payoff will be how it brings this family even closer together.
And this is a normal family. A loving family. This isn’t Hollywood’s perverted view of family. The kids listen to the parents. The parents have earned that moral authority. Mom and dad are in love. There’s no dysfunction, no hidden underbelly. Best of all, the fact that the Wilsons are black has nothing to do with anything. Us embraces the ideal of e pluribus unum, most especially through the Wilsons’ friendship with the Tylers, who just happen to be white.
This is a horror movie, which means something’s going to come along to destroy all this harmony, and wouldn’t you know, it’s… us.
But it’s really not us, it is the worst of us — the greedy, envious, grasping side of us, that part of us that wants something for nothing, that wants what everyone else worked for, that believes we are entitled to it. And we will take it through violence and murder, because that’s our idea of justice.
The Wilson’s are terrorized by their own doppelgangers: crude, malevolent, angry, bitter doubles who are, without question, Peele’s stand-ins for socialists. He’s even a bit on-the-nose by dressing them all in … red.