SPOILER ALERT: Be careful reading beyond this point if you either haven’t seen the movie ‘US’ or if you care about spoilers.
During the final part of the film US, Adelaide’s doppelgänger named Red takes Jason to the underground facility that the Tethered (doppelgängers) used to call home. It turns out they lived below the house of mirrors on the boardwalk, where many years ago Adelaide had encountered a young Red (her double) and was traumatized by the event. During this time, Zora and Gabe seek a vehicle to escape in.
Adelaide ventures “below” to rescue Jason and presumably kill Red. When she reaches the Tethered’s “facility,” she finds Red cutting paper in the shape of a family holding hands, while Red explains what the Tethered (doppelgängers) are and why they were made. Essentially, they are humans without souls. Red says that she planned for the world to know the Tethered exist by going to the surface, killing their host, and joining hands across America. This imagery is based off an old 80s advertisement campaign.
Adelaide and Red eventually fight and Red ends up being killed. Adelaide then finds Jason hiding in a storage locker and the two escape back to the surface, where they meet with Zora and her husband Gabe inside of an ambulance. While the family drives off, we see more of the Tethered locked together holding hands across mountains and streets as Red had described. Then we receive a major twist…
Adelaide starts to have visions and flashbacks of her original encounter with young Red (back in the house of mirrors as a little girl), it turns out she was the doppelganger this whole time. We then get more clarity from previous flashbacks where her parents took her to therapy sessions to help her talk. Everyone including doctors believed that her experience at the house of mirrors left her mute instead of the truth.
So the doppelgänger basically stole the original Adelaide’s entire life and the person we thought was red all along was the original. When she has the realization she turns to Jason in the passenger seat and it almost seems as if he’s aware of it too but he doesn’t say anything. The final image we’re left with is the camera pulling back to reveal the Tethered joined across mountains with news helicopters capturing the sight from above, and the family driving off.
In hindsight, there are clues littered throughout the film that Adelaide isn’t really who we think she is, but the twist is sure to be controversial. What do you think of this ending? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!