Nope ★★★★½

"I will cast abominable filth upon you, Make you vile, And make you a spectacle."

The Vile and The Spectacle. Two poles seemingly worlds apart. Yet, in all of its horror and glory, Nope successfuly treads within the unstable liminal space between them.

Anyways, somehow I managed to win a free double pass to see an Australian advanced screening of this so… yay!!! Exciting.

This was undoubtedly my most anticipated film of the year, and somehow exceeded my expectations. I was slightly wary, as a horror fan, of the initial reactions and reviews coming out about the film. The shift from calling it a “horror” film to a “sci-fi thriller” was subtle, but I caught it. On-top of that, the film received a shocking M rating here in Australia (our equivalent of an American PG-13) for merely course language and “sustained threat.” Essentially what The Maze Runner received. Thankfully, so did Jaws, Alien, Psycho and numerous other classic horror films.

ANYWHOM! Nope terrified me.

That’s not something I say about films often, and seeing the discourse around this particular one, it’s definitely not a view shared widely. However, it’s a view I’ll stand by. The second act of this film unsettled me to no end, in a way I never expected going in. Even thinking about the various occurrences within that middle half an hour continues to chill me.

What interests me the most is how engaging Nope, like both of Jordan Peele’s previous films, continues to be. Well after I’d left the cinema, the film was still deconstructing itself in my mind. There remains so much to unpack from it, so many pieces to place together, like the most entertaining, yet satisfying puzzle. Even so, this attribute of the film merely supplements the pure delight the film gifted upon me. The way the crowd roared whenever a character would, for great reason, mutter the titular “nope”, was exhilarating.

Not going to dive into it too much, but clearly everything technical about the film is outstanding. The directing, acting, music, cinematography, visual FX etc… You have nothing to worry about. It’s just great to see a horror film of this scale.

Nope somehow manages to weave fluidly between horror and restraint, between the entertaining and the perplexing. Peele has once more crafted a double-wrapped gift, a delicate cardboard box hidden within an elaborate, vibrant package. I can’t wait to unravel it further.

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