Actor, Writer, and Director Jordan Peele’s third horror
movie NOPE arrives in theaters this weekend. NOPE is about the
Haywood family, who are horse trainers living on a secluded California ranch. A
mysterious entity begins being felt at the ranch and seems to be having an
effect on both the people and animals. The Haywoods decide they are going to
capture this entity on film.
What follows is The Good, The Bad, and The
Spoilers of NOPE.
If you have seen Get Out or US, you know that
Peele writes stories that are unique. He does so once again with NOPE.
The initial feel of the movie is that it is going to be another creepy movie
about aliens. As the story unfolds, it becomes something interestingly
different. I felt like I was watching a modern-day interpretation of a folk
tale that describes someone’s encounter with things not of the natural world.
Another good point to this movie is the comedic relief. I
know that normally comedic relief is not something you necessarily want in a
horror movie, but in NOPE it had a way of making the movie more
relatable. How many times have you watched a horror movie and thought something
like “Don’t go down to the dark basement to investigate the strange noises
you just heard”? Some of the funniest parts of the movie play into that,
such as when OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) sees something downright creepy and,
rather than investigating, says “Nope” and walks the other way.
There were only a couple aspects of this movie that I would
say missed the mark. This movie starts with a very slow build. I understand
that Peele was laying the backstory to help us understand the characters, what
is going on with the ranch, and the sibling relationship. This made for a very
slow first act of the movie, where you find yourself wondering when things are
going to start happening. I compared it to the slow build that we have in the
movie JAWS, where we know there is a shark eating people, but you do not
actually see the shark for almost the whole first hour of the film. Now what NOPE
missed, that JAWS did right, was the lack of suspense for the first part
of the film. Once things started happening though, the movie really got going.
The other issue I had with this film was the segments
related to a chimpanzee called Gordy. Once again, I understand that Peele
included these as a means of helping the audience understand primal animal
behavior and maybe for the brutality factor, but I felt it did not contribute
to the movie as a whole. This could have been covered with the horse’s behavior
and how they react to loud sounds, flashing lights, and eye-contact.
My Overall Opinion
NOPE was storytelling at its best, and once the ball
gets rolling, you can not wait to see how it all unfolds. If you are a fan of
either of Peele’s previous works, then NOPE is a must see. If you are a
fan of creepy movies that keep you on the edge of your seat, then I would
highly recommend going to see NOPE in theaters!