Review: Nope

Ethan Woelbern, Features Editor


Comedian-turned-film-auteur Jordan Peele returns with his third film outing, Nope, a medley of tense action and relevant allegory steeped in themes of exploitation and grief. Nope solidifies Peele as not just another creative horror director but as a master of his craft and one of the great directors of the last 20 years.
This is a difficult movie to talk about without just outright spoiling it, but I will try my best to keep the review mostly spoiler-free; however, for the best Nope experience, I recommend going into the movies totally blind.
Anyways, back to the review.
Theme drives the story of Nope. Character motivations and even the incidents that drive the film forward all feel connected by the grief faced by the main characters. They cope with this trauma by searching for a UFO they believe to be located in their area.
The themes present in the movie aren’t exactly hidden, Peele makes very clear what he wants the movie to be saying with its platform. But the thing that makes these themes so compelling is how they are interwoven throughout the movie. Every line and character choice feels as though it could have a double meaning: The Jupiter’s Landing amusement park aliens being called “the viewers,” the title cards being named after the ranch horses. There is just so much in this film to sink your teeth into.
Although Nope is not an out-and-out horror movie like his previous two films, Peele doesn’t forget his roots in his previous films Get Out and US. The horror throughout the film is used sparingly yet when present is absolutely terrifying. Watching a group of tourists being digested alive, a monkey going on a killing spree on a sitcom set, a UFO raining blood and guts, each of these horror vignettes feels distinctive yet well-integrated into the tone and themes of the movie.
Peele has made a thought-provoking and entertaining blockbuster that feels old Hollywood yet forward-thinking. Nope is not only an achievement of incredible storytelling but ingenuity and creativity as well.