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Lupita Nyong’o May Solidify Status as the 21st Century’s Great Scream Queen in ‘Little Monsters’

The Oscar-winning actress turned in one of the best performances of the year with her chilling turn in "Us" and another horror movie awaits.

Lupita Nyong'o stars in Jordan Peele's new horror film, "Us." (Universal Pictures)

“Us”

Universal Pictures

NEON and Hulu have released a new clip from their upcoming Australian zombie movie that should enshrine Lupita Nyong’o as the finest actor working in horror today. In “Little Monsters,” directed by Abe Forsythe, Nyong’o plays Miss Caroline, a kindergarten teacher taking her wee students on a field trip to a farm, where there’s suddenly a zombie outbreak. Instead of the kids petting a cow, Miss Caroline has to make certain that they don’t see zombies ravenously devouring the bovine.

“It’s like an R-rated Pixar movie,” the director, Abe Forsythe, said at the IndieWire Sundance Studio presented by Dropbox in January. In this clip, Miss Caroline has to adapt her early-childhood education skills to both ensure the survival of the tykes and make certain that they’re not psychologically scarred by the carnage around them. She tells them that all the weird-looking people around them are “it,” like in a game of tag, and that’s why, no matter what, they can’t let them touch them.

“We’re constantly showing the dichotomy of the beauty and innocence of a child and that world and then the real world, with the zombies as a metaphor,” Forsythe said.

Nyong’o received some of the best notices of the year for her dual performances in “Us” as a fearful mom and her doppelgänger who mysteriously arrives to torment her. It was an instant horror-classic turn, up there with Jack Nicholson in “The Shining” and Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween.” And though a release date hasn’t been set yet for “Little Monsters,” it looks like another provocative exploration of the genre.

Josh Gad will also be on hand as a secretly evil children’s TV host, who “becomes the villain of the piece,” Gad said. Forsythe also cited “They Live” and “Okja” as cinematic inspirations for his movie, which features rapid-fire shifts in tone and ironic juxtapositions throughout. To learn more about “Little Monsters” watch IndieWire’s interview with the cast at Sundance below.

“Little Monsters” was acquired by NEON and Hulu after the Sundance Film Festival in January and may be released later this year.

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