Film Friday: Us

When Adelaide Wilson and her family take a vacation in Santa Cruz things start to go pear-shaped when they spot a strange family lurking in their driveway…

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It turns out that the family lurking outside is not just any weird bunch, but it is actually – them. The Wilsons. Or rather a threatening, darker version of the Wilsons. This family of doppelgangers have emerged from a hidden half-life to wreak havoc and get their revenge. The ‘good’ Wilsons must face themselves and do battle to survive amidst a growing tide of strangeness and carnage.

This film is a frightening, clever and extreme take on the notion that we are all capable of doing good and doing harm. We often wrestle with those choices of whether to give in to selfishness or choose another option. The writers of the Bible are very honest about that struggle. That great letter writer Paul laid this out graphically in chapter 7 of his letter to the Romans, writing about the way he often knew what was right, yet didn’t do it. He was able to be honest about this because he could also write about the discovery he had made that, when facing these struggles he knew that God was on his side in Jesus. ‘Who can help me with these struggles?’ he said, ‘Thank God, Jesus can!’ This Good Friday, which at the time had looked like nothing but a bad Friday, had thrown wide the gates of hope for all who struggle with wrongdoing, guilt, failure and doubt (all of us, then). Paul found that far from judging and punishing him for his ability to fail, Jesus had come to forgive him and offer him a fresh start. On a daily basis. In the grit and the glory. In the turgid times and the triumphs. Jesus was not with him because he always got things right, rather because God understands that we all have feet of clay and has come to give us a way through the mire. Jesus speaks of the truth setting us free. He helps us face ourselves, bursting the bubbles of self-righteousness that we may often cling to, and offering us the chance to bring our failings and weakness to him, along with our strengths and abilities.

To end this on a positive note. There is an oft repeated saying, for evil to prosper good people just need to do nothing, well I recently came across this inspiring true account of what can happen when good people do something. When Jessie Boston sat down on the 8.36 from Clapham it was just an ordinary day like any other. That is until she noticed that something about the young woman opposite did not look right at all…

Click this line to read more of Jessie’s story.

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