There’s no other way to describe “Nope”
It started with Get Out, then came Us. And now we have a third movie under the direction of Jordan Peele in Nope. It’s a strange film, but what else can you expect when you have Peele directing, writing and producing?
The narrative really starts with a son and a father on their horse ranch somewhere in California. But just as everything seems picturesque, random things start dropping from the sky—from a plane, we later hear, though there are no planes in sight. One of the falling objects, a coin, goes directly into the eye of the father, and he dies from the complications.
And then we as the audience are thrust forward a few months later, with that son and his sister now running the ranch. Adjacent to their ranch is a theme park, owned by a child star who learned how to make money from the strange phenomenon that killed their father.
The narrative itself is pretty straightforward, with a few flashbacks tucked in to fully immerse viewers in the main message (which we can get to later). But if you’re buying a ticket to Nope and hoping for a horror flick, this one isn’t for you. It has some startling parts, of course, but it’s not something I would categorize with the likes of The Shining or A Quiet Place or Us.
I have zero qualms about the cast—led by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer—everyone played their characters to a tee. A special shout out is necessary for Palmer, whose iteration of the carefree lesbian sister was the breath of fresh air we needed against Kaluuya’s stoic OJ.
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Nope, as we were told before the screening began, is Peele’s experimentation with the idea of spectacles. Something or someone that humans can’t tear their eyes away from—a UFO, a monkey, a car crash. The film is about the risks we unwittingly make when our reflexes get the best of us, and it’s a message that reads loud and clear. Because as you might have already guessed from the trailer, not everyone survives this alien invasion.
All in all, Nope is a great and worthwhile watch. And as all of other Jordan Peele’s films, Nope offers an actual explanation at the end of it. You learn exactly what’s been terrorizing that horse ranch and the theme park next door, you learn why it was doing what it was doing. Sure, there’s a chance you won’t like the reason (I didn’t), and there’s a chance you won’t be satisfied (I wasn’t; I guess I just wanted the alien to be something~ else). But it’s what we have and what we need to accept.
None of that open-ended bullshit.
“Nope” is already out in cinemas, so go watch it. PSA: Better watched in IMAX.
Art Alexandra Lara