Nope is a science fiction horror film written, directed, and produced by Jordan Peele under his Monkeypaw Productions banner. Nope follows two ranch-owning siblings who attempt to capture evidence of an unnatural occurrence. The trailers are as mysterious as the film and don’t reveal much. Peele hoped the title would elicit a reaction from audiences. I was hoping for a good sci-fi movie and I got it. The film was a little slow and left much to the imagination but overall, it was pretty decent.
The film opens with the Bible verse, “I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile and make you a spectacle.” – Nahum 3:6. In 1998, on the soundstage for the sitcom “Gordy’s Home”, the titular chimpanzee animal actor (Terry Notary) attacks and maims three of its co-stars after being startled by the pop of a helium balloon. The show’s youngest actor, Ricky “Jupe” Park (Jacob Kim), hides under a table unharmed but is traumatized by the experience. The chimp finds Jupe and extends his hand for a fist bump just before being shot dead by authorities.
In the present day, ranch owner Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David). trains and handles horses for film and television productions. When he is killed by a nickel through the eye that falls inexplicably from the sky, his children, Otis “OJ” Haywood Jr. (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald “Em” Haywood (Keke Palmer) inherit the ranch. OJ tries to keep the business afloat and maintain his father’s legacy, while Em plans to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood.
Six months later, while filming a commercial with prominent cinematographer Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott), one of the horses reacts violently when the crew startles it. The Haywoods are fired from the project and the ranch’s financial woes force OJ to sell horses to the now grown-up Jupe (Steven Yeun), who has moved nearby and set up Jupiter’s Claim, a small Western theme park where he exploits his story of the Gordy’s Home massacre for profit.
From this point on, Nope takes us through a series of mysterious events. We are unsure of what’s happening but we want answers. First dad gets mysteriously killed, a horse is frightened and disappears, the electricity fluctuates causing the lights to dim, go out, then come back on, plus thunder, lightning, and rain happen each time a horse and even people vanish. Despite the Haywoods buying a security system with surveillance cameras that are strategically placed to film their surroundings, nothing is revealed. Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) a tech salesman at Fry’s Electronics installs the equipment and gets deeply involved with the Haywoods endeavor to expose what they believe is really happening. I’ve tried to be vague in explaining Nope because I don’t want to give away anything. I was definitely in the dark and thought anyone reading this review should also not know what is really going on. As I said, the film is slow as it took ages to get to discoveries and explanations but it was a decent movie. There’s much to this story which was well acted by all. As of July 24, 2022, Nope has grossed World Wide, $126,220,717. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 292 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Admirable for its originality and ambition even when its reach exceeds its grasp, Nope adds Spielbergian spectacle to Jordan Peele’s growing arsenal.” NOTE: There is talk of a sequel. Nope is currently playing in theaters — Check It Out!