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.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Mayhem (2017, Joe Lynch)

Mayhem is gory, over the top, hilarious and often pretty brutal. It is a horror movie, a comedy, an action movie and a nice satire of the evils of the workplace all wrapped into one insanely fun package. Joe Lynch has made a film that even if it covers familiar ground, that film does so in a unique and wonderful style. Give me more horror movies like this one, please. Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving have pretty solid chemistry together, teaming up to deal with being screwed by Yeun’s scummy corporate bosses. Does this movie have tons of excessive violence involving power tools? Yes. Are there plenty of fighting scenes and a huge co-worker brawl? Absolutely. Too bad I never got the chance to watch this in theaters.

Oh and after seeing this, The Babysitter and Ready or Not Weaving is unofficially the main actress of my 2019 Horrorfest. Clearly her family well prepared her to be a good actress, and I look forward to seeing her in more films. And Yeun clearly has a bright future beyond The Walking Dead, although I did like him a lot in that show. I think my favorite part of this movie was the office brawl, simply for the amount of violence but also because everyone has that co-worker or even co-workers they wouldn’t mind punching at least once or twice. Having recently seen myself lose hours because of corporate indifference to those below them in the company structure I like this movie even more. Plus the whole virus angle is a bit more interesting these days, that’s for sure.

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