Director – Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us)
Starring – Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther, Watership Down), Keke Palmer (Big Mouth, Scream: The TV Series), and Brandon Perea (Doom Patrol, Delivery)
Release Date – 2022
Rating – 4.5/5
Several years back one half of the comedy duo Key and Peele ventured out into horror and really made a name for himself. Jordan Peele wrote and directed the hits Get Out and Us while also producing The Twilight Zone revival and Candyman reboot. I wasn’t too interested in his horror thrillers but after Blumhouse sent over their horror set a few Halloweens back and Get Out really impressed me.
I quickly bought Us to add to my collection, but I never had the time to check it out sadly. When I heard that he was working on a sci-fi horror flick I wanted to see it theatrically but with work and three kids that did not happen. However, once I received the press release for the physical releases I knew I had to jump on this opportunity to check it out. I requested a copy and soon was sent a copy of the film on blu. Even though it is not a straight forward horror flick I still added it to my October horror binge.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows OJ (Kaluuya) and his sister Em (Palmer) who try to keep their late father’s horse ranch open. They raise and train horses for film and television but have fell on hard times when their father Otis (Keith David) dies when something from a small plane strikes him in the eye. Since his passing the ranch has fell on hard times and OJ has been forced to occasionally some of his father’s prized horses to a local western themed amused mark owned by former child star Jupe (Steven Yeun).
As the two struggle to pay bills and find a way in Hollywood they soon realize that something strange is happening at their ranch along with Jupe’s amusement park. They put out security cameras and soon realize that a specific cloud never moves out of the sky near the hills on their ranch. They soon realize that the cloud is something from another world that uses eyes to locate living creatures that it sucks up and feeds on. Jupe has been using Oj’s horses to feed them as part of their western show but after a stunt pulled by Em the ships sucks up everyone in attendance before setting it’s sights on OJ and Em’s ranch. **Spoiler alert**
I didn’t know what to expect when I went into Nope but this movie did not disappoint. Honestly, it’s up there with the best theatrical release of 2022 with me along with X and Black Phone. It’s an amazing film that not only does an amazing job blending sci-fi and horror but also solidifies Peele as a modern master of horror.
The acting in this one did take me a few minutes to warm up to them but by the end of the film I was really impressed by the cast. While I was really impressed by Steven Yuen and Keith David, I was hesitant with Kaluuya and Palmer at first. Kaluuya really impressed me in films Kick-Ass 2, Get Out, and Black Panther but it took some time for me to really warm up to him here. His character has a quiet demeanor that didn’t really work in front of the camera. However, as the film progressed, I found myself really digging the personality and mannerisms. One performance that really stood out to me was from relative new comer Brandon Perea. I really enjoyed his character and the intensity he brought to a few scenes.
The story for this one begins with what feels like a modern western setting before switching up to a Signs inspired sci-fi setting before moving along to a full on horror story with an almost kaiju like story. The film is over 2 hours long but it doesn’t feel that way. In fact, it was over before I knew it which the only disappointing aspect of the film. The pacing is phenomenal, the story pulls you in and is full of imagination, and the characters are very well written.
Finally, the film has one extremely bloody scene but that is really the extent of it. The movie shines with the visual effects that look amazing but for those of you looking for gore you will be very disappointed. Overall, Nope is a fucking must see for any sci-fi or horror fan. Hell, cinema fans in general will love what Peele has given us. I can see myself watching this one countless times and never tiring of it. I highly recommend this one.