If you’ve ever watched a Jordan Peele film like Get Out or Us, you’ll understand what he does is different, and frankly, it’s quite refreshing in the world of horror, especially for someone who used to do a lot of comedy. And after a lengthy wait and a lot of guessing, Peele’s third film debuts in cinemas: NOPE. Unlike his other two films that are more focused on grounded and human horror, NOPE is Peele’s vision of a sci-fi, extra-terrestrial horror.
It’s original, creative, creepy and suspenseful, as Jordan Peele continues to show off his skills as a director. The horror elements are more slow burn and progressive then other films, but it makes it worth it with how it’s handled. It’s softer at first, then gets a lot more vivid and terrifying when you learn more; there’s an entire sequence that’s pretty grim and horrifying to watch and listen to. With a returning actor from Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya, accompanied by Keke Palmer and a few actors that people will know quite well like Keith David and Steven Yeun, the character roster is very well done. I did find the acting to be very engaging. Daniel and Keke each brought great energy to their roles, and the supporting actors were equally enjoyable.
Cinematography in certain parts genuinely make the film feel like something birthed from The Thing and Event Horizon, and considering the peel influence for this film is Jaws, it makes a lot of sense when the film progresses. NOPE is all about the right shot to get the moment perfectly terrifying and Peele’s team did it beautifully in bringing the odd encounters to life. There is definitely a rewatch value to this film after learning the many meanings of the quotes, phrases and symbolism used throughout that gets you thinking. There is a build up to each twist and shocking moment, and the mysterious and ambiguous scenes become scarier after learning context, to which I find myself grimacing at the thought of certain parts.
There isn’t too much I can really say about the alien/UFO/UAP parts about this film without spoiling what makes this film a spectacle (which is the overall theme of this film, spectacle). Even when shying away from body swapping rich people or doppelgangers in red suits with scissors, Peele still involves a lesson within the structure of this flick – about the Hollywood industry and the media trying to capture the next spectacle.
NOPE is another Jordan Peele masterpiece, a film that’ll stick in my head for quite some time when I watch more sci-fi horror films. It did something a little different and the payoff was great.
Fancy more short reviews? Read my last MancMuse Mini article covering the day time vampire film Day Shift – a Netflix vamp slaying film with Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco and Snopp Dogg!