Movie Review: Nope


Jordan Peele’s newest film “Nope” is a sci-fi extravaganza that is sure to excite fans of horror, western, and alien movies. As a last hoorah before heading to Dickinson, a group of my friends and I went to see “Nope” at a local movie theater (Shoutout to the Crest in Shoreline, support local theaters!) and we had a great time.

“Nope” was released in July of this year to critical acclaim, albeit less so than Peele’s first film “Nope”. The film follows siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood (played by Danial Kaluuya and Keke Palmer), as they run a ranch , supplying horses for use in the film industry. As the story unfolds, the siblings are stalked by a mysterious UFO, and risk life and limb to capture it on camera for profit. Supporting characters are played by Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Barbie Ferreira.

Nope represents a refreshing take on both the country western genre, as well as alien sci-fi. While Peele is best known for his work in creating horror, his ability to build tension and suspense translates well into this film’s format. The cinematography is beautifully atmospheric, perfectly capturing the isolation of life in the more arid areas of southern California. Many of the scenes feel straight out of a horror movie, and I am not ashamed to admit that one or two scares made me jump in my theater seat.

While the  pictorial quality of the film is fantastic, many reviewers had less than stellar opinions about the plot. I will admit that the plot seemed a little more daisy-chained together than Peele’s other works, but I think those negative reviews ignore some of the innovations that were brought to the table. It is a monstrous task to create an alien-centric or western movie without being cheesy, but Peele brings a fresh perspective that keeps the tone both serious and playful.

Major themes of Nope are the maltreatment of animals in entertainment, the impact of watching and being watched, and the dangers of thinking you are in control. This is a film that will surely please Peele’s diehard fans as well as those just being introduced to his style.