I thought he upped the content beyond Get Out, which was a strong film on its own. When Shyamalan did Unbreakable, it was a strong follow-up to Sixth Sense, but he mainly did the same level but in an new arena (super heroes) other than the first (thriller/horror), and so it was a good second film but he mainly avoided stagnation by going with a completely new arena (a perfectly fine move, in my opinion, showing he could adapt his style in more than one arena, so that is in no way meant as a criticism). Peele managed to stay in the same arena (a sci-fi underpinning for a race-critical horror/thriller story) but took it to a new level within that arena: not just race-critical but now broadened to include culture-critical (best random thing I have heard in a while: some girl walking out of theater a little back from me saying to her friend, "Well, there's Trump's wall," meaning the untethered hands-across-America at the end ... the culture critical is evident in her answer "who are we? we are Americans" and maybe, but very latently, in the title being "Us," with the "United" part of "United States" mirroring "tethered," but as I said, very latently ... and a nice little tidbit maybe of criticism of the culture of technical manipulation), and the resolution involving a revelation of something that happened in the central opening scenes in the past (at least I think, the topside woman would not be able to pull it off if she had not originally been a tethered, and the tethered her would not have been able to orchestrate the rising if she had not begun in the world above; notice that, while she talks creepy and hoarse, she is the only one of the tethered who has the power of speech, which I think is an early clue to the final revelation ... I maybe had some "I wonder ... that would be possible" inklings before the reveal, but only brief and fleeting and only because of thinking "ok, there is always a final hook"), incorporating an established interpretive model like Jung (the shadow), and that dancing scene near the end (a three-part choreography of the young girl doing ballet in the world above and the tethered girl doing it in the world below spliced with the two grown-woman versions dancing around the desks in the classroom fighting) was a definite advancement in style by using such a highly stylized choreographed sequence (I also think there was a nice chess motif at the one point with a little Alice spin: notice that the topside woman is dressed in white and the tethered woman in red, so they are the white and red queens, respectively, and then the topside son as white knight pulls his tethering move that saves the white queen while at the same time, unintentionally, sacrificing himself by being taken by the red queen, so white knight sacrifices capture by red queen in order to save white queen from red knight ... so, a nicely done choreography there too), all while keeping the race-critical element up (it is only the African American family that is able to handle the attack; the white people all fall to their dopplegangers immediately, just as Jamie Foxx's African American character in Law Abiding Citizen, while having been partly corrupted by the white mentality, is still the one who survives the story of destruction, or Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury reaching Easter Sunday only with the section focused on Dilsey, the African American matriarchal figure who heads the servants in the Compson home).
And in the end, I don't think the revelation of the original switch is the typical "oh no, we're actually still in the horror and the bad person actually won" thing that is common in some (cheap) horror, but rather some form of Jung's resolution in the shadow's integration into the mature person.
All in all, a really strong follow-up performance by Peele after the critical success of Get Out (and and advancement in his style and film/story-crafting, especially for doing it in the same arena as Get Out, although without race being as up front in the material plot, but that is mostly as a result of moving it up to a broader culture criticism). In short, I liked it a lot and was really impressed.
So further thoughts: On the race-critical and possibly gender-critical: only an African American girl has a doppleganger that have enough indepence of thought to initiate and accomplish the switch. She is also the only one with enough sole to power thought and speech and self determination in both the uplander and the tethered versions of herself. Somebody noticed even just from the trailer that she can't get the rhythm in the car (can't snap her fingers in correct rhythm when she tells her son to) and guessed early that she might be the one without "soul," and I would say that that works on the level of the a hidden clue to the basic material, but that it doesn't onto the material level of the story in the form of saying topside Addie has absolutely no soul: they share the soul, and when Red dies, topside Addie gets it all.
Culture/Class-Critical: Of all the people, and whatever one thinks of Rick Santorum in other regards, he said something interesting when he spoke at my college commencement. He said that it is those with the advantages in a society who bear the great responsibility and culpability. I don't know if this is what he subjectively meant, but it is objectively a meaning in the words he said: The rich set a standard of acceptable escapism, and they get to follow it "respectably" because they are the ones who can afford weekends at resorts and jet skis on the Hudson and all the allowed and "respectable" methods, whereas somebody in a housing project may have to do their escapism in a less legal and more physically precarious and damaging way; rich men can afford to club there women over the head with fancy clothes and jewelry, but the man in the hood, if he is to follow that lead, has to do it more literally or with more directly brutal psychological manipulation. I think that that is part of what is symbolized in the structure of the tethered down below mimicking the those above.
Alice: Another possible Alice reference is when Red is pressing Adelaide's face into the glass surface of the table to point where it is cracking, so she is, in other words, about to be violently forced through the looking glass. And of course, the house of mirrors fits that image set, where she literally goes through the looking glass, being dragged to the interior by what she thinks at first is her reflection (and the way he worked that scene of her looking at herself from behind reminds me of Tiffany Aching's "see me" spell, but I would guess that as more of a simple borrowing of a material concept without carrying over theme etc.if it is even that ... the way C.S. Lewis borrowed the idea of grass that won't bend from a sci-fi book but used it for something completely different in The Great Divorce ... although, here, there is the possible connection of the things that kids do without knowing they're dangerous, as Tiffany's use of "see me" opens her to invasion by the hiver in Hat Full of Sky, and maybe a critique of preoccupied parents in American life).
The Real tragedy: There is kind of a dark moment toward the end that sort of signals the coming revelation. When Adelaide kills Red, she pants and growls in an animal way you haven't seen her do yet, even when trying to flip herself up over onto the bed to protect her daughter from the white woman's tether. And I think you can see that it worries her. Whether it is a worry that she has allowed a consciously constructed facade to crack some or because she simply worries that she has become like Red in order to defeat Red with that being unfolded in the revelation that she is a subconsciously constructed faced and the revelation worries her (but then smile a natural and good smile because there is hope of her having normalized), one way or the other, whether she thinks of it as possible CONversion or possible REversion, she worries that she has become like Red. At the end of the day, while I say there is a happy ending to the film (and not the cheap horror thing of "oh no ... the evil one actually wone; the demon made it out of the containment circle, etc."), there is stiall a tragedy in the the original human girl Adelaide has to die. It has to be done; as topside Addie says, Red Addie will keep coming otherwise, and simply hiding out isn't an option. But it is materially a tragedy nonetheless that the human girl has to die. And the critical aspect is the idea that the real villains are those who made the situation in the first place in which that had to happen, the scientists who created the clones for manipulation. They are the white greasy men who set up the battle royal in Ellison's Invisible Man. The other part here is the son, Jason. I don't buy the speculation of some at this point; think it would simply require to much rigging to have him actually also be a tethered living above (and I really hope that Peele doesn't make a sequel unless he has a really good idea that works without the kind of rigging it would take to make Jason also a switched person), but I think his actions at the end are significant. I think he realizes what has gone on and is now in on the secret of somebody who was originally a doppleganger trying to do the best she can at being the whole now and being truly human etc after having had to kill the other because, beyond her control, the other had gone feral and turned malignant from the psychological duress, and also at dealing with possibly the guilt feeling of realizing that she was the one who initiated that duress (although, can you blame somebody for wanting out of that life below?). And Jason pulling the mask down over his face is symbolic of his willingness to keep the secret, but I think it is also a double-edged sword in that it hides his face from her too, but that is just how it has to be in this situation that is the fallout of what evil people like the original scientist power-players and government do.
And one more thing on the rabbits: Gollum?
Here is a comment I wrote in the "reaction" posting area at https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/us-easter-eggs-references-hidden-meanings-weve-found-jordan-peeles-latest-spoilers-190658023.html?fbclid=IwAR0wo9QNgSpnwRfUBiYFw4jrJRUDxqPyN3u7fcFHEfXiyCtvmxUO_j4jzYA : Has anybody else noticed Alice? Going through the looking glass and down to underland (to borrow Burton's name for it) in the hall of mirrors, then her face pushed into the glass table top to the point it cracks, so Red is almost paying back a violent through-the-looking-glass experience, and Addie wears white (maybe a nice race-critical-tradition hat tip to the dot of black in Liberty paint's "whitest white" paint in Ellison's Invisible Man), so she and Red are white queen and red queen so that, in the burning car scene, white knight (Jason) protects white queen (Addie; and actually he protects white king, Gabe, who is actually next to the car that would explode) from red knight (Pluto) with his walking-backward tether move but gets taken by red queen (Red).