Warning: This story contains spoilers for Us.

The opening credits of Jordan Peele’s Us features rows upon rows of cages filled with bunnies — a visual that’s both innocent and unnerving. The rabbits become a recurring symbol throughout the film, ranging from subtle (Adelaide’s daughter Zora played by Shahadi Wright Joseph wears a shirt with a bunny on it in an early scene) to creepily overt (Red cuts the head off of a stuffed rabbit in the family cabin) — no doubt, in part because of Peele’s belief that rabbits are terrifying creatures.

In an interview with the Guardian, Peele shared why the rabbits’ role was fitting for the film, noting their strong resemblance to the frightening shears that the Tethered use to hunt their human counterparts.