The first trailer for Jordan Peele's hotly-anticipated new polemical horror film Us has dropped.

After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially-conscious horror films with his directorial debut, Get Out, Academy Award®-winning visionary Peele returns with another original nightmare that he has written, directed and produced.

Set in present day along the iconic Northern California coastline, Us, from Monkeypaw Productions, stars Oscar® winner Lupita Nyong'o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Black Panther's Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway.

Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family.

After spending a tense beach day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. Us pits an endearing American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

The history of the doppelgänger is in itself very interesting and will undoubtedly inform Peele's production at some level, as Get Out is at its core social, or polemical horror. The word "doppelgänger" itself means “double-goer” in German, and dates from Jean Paul’s 1796 novel "Siebenkäs" in which the protagonist trades identities with his look-alike.

The doppelgänger has since taken a paranormal turn too that scientists sometimes say is the result of schizophrenia or other issues like Capgras Delusion (which involves the idea of a double replacing a loved one). In fact, it also has its own psychiatric classification called the "syndrome of subjective doubles," a common symptom of schizophrenia. There is a very long history of doubles in religion too (like the Egyptian Ka) and literary examples like Goethe and Percy Bysshe Shelley abound.

The idea of the double has also been treated in various forms cinematically. James Stewart in Harvey is an excellent case but also in Vertigo with the actual physical double playing a huge part in the story. Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris is another great entry. The theme is also of course huge in David Lynch's films, particularly Lost Highway and Inland Empire.  

What is for sure is that Peele will find a novel take on it. He writes, directs, and produces for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Monkeypaw's Ian Cooper

Us will be released by Universal Pictures in 2019.