“Nope” Is the Film, But Horror Fans Are Saying Yes

Horror fans are in for a treat with Jordan Peele’s newest hit. “Nope” is a modern alien horror, sure to join the likes of “The Thing”. Daniel Kaluuya plays OJ, who is a quiet and reclusive man who lives on a horse ranch with his father. OJ’s existence is turned upside down when his father dies in a freak accident and his sister Emerald, played by Keke Palmer, returns to the family home. They are then granted the opportunity of a lifetime to save their failing ranch and become world famous; they must capture footage of the alien ship soaring above their heads. The curious Angel, played by Brandon Perea, joins them in their hunt. Meanwhile, the nearby amusement park owner Jupe, played by Steven Yuen, struggles with his own past encounter with a violent predator.

“Nope” is told in segments of interconnected stories, each section named after a horse on the ranch or another animal of interest. The goals of each character overlap and sometimes contradict, but all are made one under the immense power of the alien in the sky. The segment style allows for each individual character to shine and brings a sense of satisfaction when the movie closes.

The location in “Nope” is a bold choice. A wide, open backland in California serves as the perfect spot for an alien to rest and restore, as the human population is thin. There is almost a sense of a territory war between the two species. With nothing but miles and miles of dirt, the human cast has nowhere to escape. Not that they want too, anyways. This land has been their home for decades, and they will defend it from all invaders, alien or otherwise.

The cinematography in “Nope” is genius, with the camera’s gaze pulling the viewer into the story alongside the cast. Peele spares the audience of too much blood through these framed shots, meaning the queasy will also enjoy the film. The camera being almost a character itself shows Peele’s skill, and the film itself touches on film history. The longest surviving motion picture, the Roundhay Garden Scene, features a black horse jockey riding. The fictional Haywood family are direct descendants from him. Peele’s films spotlight black actors and include many racial allegories, making the film not only a horror masterpiece, but also an effective thought-piece. “Nope” provides just the right amount of fear and suspension for all audiences.