by Miller C. Lashbrook
NOPE is a piece of art. Watching this movie was like being chased through a wonderful art installation. As you move from room to room and learn more the story puts itself together and makes more sense, but you are also afraid for your life. If you are someone who enjoys a more intellectual film and horror you will love this one.
This movie is one that is like a puzzle. In the third act the pieces fit together perfectly and effortlessly to bring things to a clever conclusion. Every single shot counts in this movie. I am sure everyone can recall a time leaving a movie where you felt like things were slow or too fast in a movie. This movie everything counted. The emotional moments were allowed to linger and details that appear to be simple, end up being important and come back thematically or in the plot. My favorite moment like this is the simple fact that in Act 1 of the movie we are introduced to the attraction that is Jupiter’s Claim and we see that there is a well that can take a picture. This seems to just be a detail meant to establish a sense of place, but it in fact was setting up how the characters would get their “Oprah Shot.”
This movie is a beautiful commentary on exploitation: the exploitation of people, animals, land, nature, etc. Every subplot and detail means to add to this theme. The twist that the ship is the alien, what a clever twist. Jordan Peele has made something to behold.
All of the actors here do the most. Daniel Kaluuya becomes OJ Haywood. Some might worry that his character here might overlap with his from Jordan Peele’s Get Out, but you forget that Kaluuya is acting, he just becomes OJ. Keke Palmer has been on my radar as a potential star since her performance as Marty in Grease Live!, but this movie shows that she has what it takes to lead a blockbuster. Brandon Perea is a great funny find of Jordan Peele’s and oh my goodness, why does Michael Wincott not get more work? His voice is chilling! His voice has a Sam Elliot cold grovel quality. His voice would make him a great choice for voicing a cosmic being in the MCU like Galactus or the Living Tribunal. Steven Yuen is fun in this role and does a good job a bringing us along in the mystery.
This movie is one that I will be watching again to notice all of the small details and will go in my list of favorite horror movies.
5/5 Decoy Horses 🏇