Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Nope (2022, Jordan Peele)

“What’s a bad miracle? They got a word for that?”

Jordan Peele knocks another movie out of the park and of course he makes one that I can’t fully discuss without endless spoilers and revealing too much. For now I will go with being glad I saw this movie in theaters, and how the first half is more like say, Signs, and the second half is part western part Spielberg movie. Peele gives us spectacular and spectacle in one glorious package, yet also once again mediates upon how easily people can be exploited. I feel this is one of the main themes that runs through his work, and this theme is strong and meaningful. In this case Hollywood is that force that has no problem taking advantage of people, however others in the movie qualify.

This movie has some great visuals, the score is exceptional and the cast is great. You have Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, and Brandon Perea. Kaluuya, Palmer and Yeun are the standouts, however I really dug Perea in this movie and liked his character the most. As I have two sisters I easily appreciated the brother-sister dynamic that OJ and Emerald have, even if it’s fairly obvious that Emerald gets on his nerves from time to time.

More on this later…but things got out of hand. That’s an understatement.

Yeun does great work and serves as one of the most important characters in Ricky “Jupe” Park, a former child actor with plenty of ambitions. It’s that desire that leads him to some questionable decisions, and is a huge aspect of the film. I suppose that someone who was used by the system can turn into a person willing to exploit others in turn, a depressing notion that has been supported by what has gone on in Hollywood for decades.

Michael Abels knocks it out of the park with his score work, and the special effects in this movie are fantastic. Shoutout to Alex Bovaird also for the costume design, and this movie might be the first flick I can think of that actually used Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart to wonderfully creepy effect. Certain aspects also made me laugh on purpose, and I’m forever in awe of the final act. The movie does have it’s weaker aspects, however those are far and few in-between.

At some point this movie deserves a longer, more in depth and better essay and or review than I have time for. Check out Nope in theaters if you still can, and I hope Jordan Peele is allowed to make more films for as long as he wants. I would be fine with Netflix giving him endless money forever to do just that.

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