Nope is a science fiction horror film directed by Jordan Peele who also wrote and co-produced it with Ian Cooper. It was made by Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures.
Otis “OJ” Haywood Jr. (Daniel Kaluuya) runs a horse ranch for Hollywood with his father Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) who dies when he is hit by a coin that rains from the sky. Years later, the ranch has fallen on hard times, even though OJ’s sister Em (Keke Palmer) arrives to help. They are forced to sell their beloved horse Lucky to a nearby tourist trap called Jupiter’s Claim that promises to show aliens. The owner is Ricky Park (Steven Yeun), a former child star who witnessed his primate co-star Gordy (Terry Notary) massacre the actors and live audience on stage. One night, while investigating a missing horse, the two see what they think is a UFO. Enlisting an electronics expert named Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) to set up cameras and also try to recruit cinematographer Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott), who refuses when he hears their claim. The trio tries to get the Oprah “shot” of the UFO, but soon, they realize it seems to have a sinister nature.
I applaud the ambition of the film. It was a unique setup for this genre-blending of sci-fi and horror. It was done in a unique way and seemed very original. I also applaud the actors. Everyone did a fantastic job in their roles and provided a good performance. I also loved seeing Keke Palmer in this film. She was a gem and I enjoyed the rebellious nature of her character. I could also say that about Steven Yeun. The way he portrayed a former child star clinging to his fame was top-notch.
Now, I have to admit that I did not get the connection of the Gordy story. It had a similar vibe to the UFO story, but the movie failed to totally connect it and it felt more like a side story that was never fully explored. As such, it felt more like a distraction to the movie as opposed to a clever subplot.
It also suffered from the problem a horror film with no sense of impending doom. Sure there were some creepy moments, but never to the point where a shiver went down my spine. I was sorely disappinted because it had such a clever set-up and the trailers were excellent, but it ultimate fell just a tad short of expecatations.
Bottom line, Nope has an excellent cast, good set-up, and an original way it apporached the genre. Unfortunately, it failed in provoking the fear necessary for such a horror concept.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Moderate foul language, Gore, Strong violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: This dream you’re chasing, where you end up at the top of the mountain, all eyes on you… it’s the dream you never wake up from.
Check out the trailer below:
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