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Jordan Peele’s third outing as a horror film writer/director, Nope, continues his trajectory as one of the best horror filmmakers of a generation. In Nope, he turns the trope of a UFO on it’s head and makes it a truly terrifying presence.
After a freak accident involving falling objects from the sky kills their father, OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Heywood (Keke Palmer) are left to manage the struggling family ranch of trained horses. As horses start disappearing, a strange object in the sky seems to be the culprit. OJ and Emerald decide to capitalize on the opportunity by filming the UFO.
Review of Nope
This is Jordan Peele’s third horror movie that he’s written and directed, and he’s already established himself as one of the most interesting voices in the genre. I know that I was looking forward to seeing this one ever since I saw the trailer.
What’s most interesting about this film is that it takes the popular concept of a UFO as mysterious and clinically detached, and makes it personal and menacing.
It’s a very eclectic movie with a lot of seemingly disparate storylines and characters, and in the end ties them together nicely. It’s got killer chimps, the Hollywood film industry, family tragedy, sibling relationships, and more all contributing to the story of what this UFO is and why it is there.
At the center of the film is the relationship between OJ and Emerald. It’s a mix of button pushing, comfort, frustration, and love that comes from being siblings. OJ is a stoic introvert driven by duty, and Emerald is an ambitious extrovert, looking to make a mark in the world. Their contrast and the resulting relationship really grounds the film by giving it heart.
This film melds Peele’s weird and unique sensibilities from US with Speilbergian spectacle. There is genuine offputting menace throughout, but especially in the third act, there are some undeniably fun and exciting sequences. My only gripe is that the runtime is a little long and seems to meander a bit in the middle.
Some of the story elements like Stephen Yuen’s character and the monkey attack are nice for color, but don’t have a very satisfying payoff.
Overall this movie is a genuinely good time, and well worth the trip to the theater
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