[Spoiler Alert! While I try to avoid big spoilers there are some minor/vague spoilers mentioned. Read at your own risk.]
Are you looking for a super suspenseful story with light gore and easy to follow storyline?! Oh, and HORSES? Well, Jordan Peele has got something for you then! While Nope is not a high-energy movie, I wouldn’t describe it as a slow burn like his other movie, US, either. I would describe Nope as a steady movie. Yeah, steady. The main character, Oj, played by Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther), is a gruff man just trying to piece his life together after strange items fall from the sky, killing his father.
There is a strange scene of a homicidal monkey on a children’s show weaved into the beginning of the storyline. I kept waiting for that storyline to make sense at the end but it didn’t. While I understand that Steven Yeun’s (Walking Dead) character had a traumatic experience as the child actor during the gruesome scene but I couldn’t twist it into why that scene (That you’ll have memorized by the end of the film) mattered to the bigger plot. Maybe it just… didn’t? It was just meant to keep the attention of the audience? Either way, it worked, I guess. A blood-covered monkey now lives rent-free in my nightmares.
The sequence of each event happens pretty quickly so by the time you think you’ve processed what just happened something new is before you to understand. Angry monkey aside, this is not a slasher film. There are some jump scares and a lot of looking at the sky, though. I would even push the limit to say this is a PG-13 film depending on how your teen handles horror. There is no nudity and no sexualized characters. Vulgar language, sure but the blood and gore are very limited. The focus of the movie was the alien disc shape in the sky.
Keke Palmer (best known as a vocal performer) played OJ’s sister, Emerald was there more for comic relief. I must note that Emerald was there for comic relief without being the butt of a joke but rather the one forming a full thought to over-dramatically solve a problem to completion. Jordan Peele gave his one female character a back story and made her feel whole. Could he have cast the Angel character as a woman as well to help balance the cast? Absolutely. Was there speaking women characters in other scenes throughout the movie? Also, yes. I’m not exactly angry about the balance of the women in this film but there is always room for growth in future films, I guess. Jordan Peele is definitely setting a new standard for horror and I am appreciating the new bar of excellence.
While this cast was male-heavy I came out feeling refreshed that the one strong female presence wasn’t sexualized, openly used as a plot prop, and didn’t even play into romantic tropes with the unlikely third wheel character, Angel (Brandon Perea). All character roles felt cohesive and believable. I can appreciate the cast of characters for who they are and how they were utilized for the plot to move.
I have always been a huge fan of the unknown since I was a child but UFOs and aliens just lose my interest. I’ll watch the strange medical situations surrounding “sightings” because confusing medical diagnosis does keep my attention… otherwise, I just start to nod off. I absolutely believe that there are aliens in other universes and maybe even some that have flown past here. I also believe there are some dangerously huge sea creatures in the depths of the oceans. Do I ever want to meet one of these creatures or aliens? Nope.
This movie shows how someone can fall into an unexpected situation and use their knowledge and resources to find their way to the other side of it. Also, ALIENS,WHAAAAT? More than just a flying disc in the sky. Scarier than peeping tom gray dudes that are allergic to water. This movie is a must-watch for the scary season! If nothing else, Nope is definitely worth having a conversation over with your favorite movie partner.