Nope ★★★★

The mystery doesn’t end when the film begins. Nope takes Peele’s innovative and unconventional approach in another direction with a movie that combines science fiction horror with comedy, adding a touch of revised Western for good measure. In truth, it is not a great film, but it gets extra points for being courageously original, particularly in view of Hollywood’s current tendency to focus on remakes and sequels of whatever topic was most recently profitable. Peele is willing to risk confusing or displeasing his audience in order to present the story he wants to tell.

The action builds slowly, masterfully, all glimpsed shadows in clouds and the kind of uncanny, unnerving images that Peele does so well. What’s really impressive about NOPE is the way in which it is visually executed. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema captures the grand vastness of the ranch and its natural beauty. But it’s done in a way to show just how isolating this area is. Additionally, he helped in creating one of the scariest moments of the film through the use of framing and camera tricks. I still can’t shake the feeling of what I experienced during that moment.

Keke Palmer is a genius for the way she has created Emerald and she has run away with the most intriguing female character. Daniel Kaluuya does his own thing and immerse us. Kaluuya and Palmer has a vibrant yet distinct sibling chemistry. Steven Yeun as Jupe, whose role is short yet impressive. A eye-opening barn encounter and aforementioned monkey attack were two of the most chilling segments, but a third that constitutes a spoiler if revealed genuinely freaked me out. An epic finale presents itself as a non-stop action thrill ride, a stark contrast to the slower build of Nope’s opening.

Nope only gets better as its dark comedy gives way to sinister otherworldly terror. Nope is Peele in a new and exciting form. It’s a good direction for the filmmaker who many feel is one of the most remarkable talents working today.


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