Get Out and Us were enough to solidify Jordan Peele as one of my favorite working filmmakers. Like many others, I was heavily anticipating his third film, Nope, from the day it was announced. For my birthday weekend, I went out and watched Nope with a group of friends and absolutely loved it.
Nope follows the story of a pair of sibling horse wranglers that specifically train horses to be used in Hollywood films, a business that they take over from their father. It doesn’t take long for bizarre things to start happening on and around the farm, including but not limited to unidentified flying object sightings and power outages. As the siblings investigate the issue, a disturbing mystery begins to unfold.
Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star as the Haywood siblings in Nope. As expected, both are just excellent in this movie. It’s cool to see Kaluuya in another Peele film after Get Out, but playing a totally different kind of character. As a 2000s kid, I’ve been watching Keke Palmer on-screen since I was in elementary school, and it’s amazing to see how far her career has come. Steven Yeun also gets a supporting role that I found to be incredibly fascinating, as he arguably has the heaviest backstory coming into the film.
As for the story itself, I loved how Peele juggles comedy and horror in Nope. I’d go as far to say it’s his funniest film of the three, though Get Out and Us definitely had some laughs. On the other hand, there are some downright terrifying sequences. There’s one flashback in particular that had my heart about to thump out of my chest. There are also a lot of stunning visuals, many of which made me want to shout “nope” myself in the theater. There is also a strong sense of dread that just looms over the entire movie from the very beginning.
Jordan Peele has something to say in Nope, and it’s not what I was expecting. While I think it’s best if you experience the messaging and revelations for yourself, the themes of spectacle and exploitation are super poignant, and stuck with me long after the credits rolled. I was already thinking about when I’d get to watch it a second time.
Nope is undoubtedly another winner for Jordan Peele. When this eventually gets a physical release, I truly hope that there is a director’s commentary included, because I’d love to hear him dive deep into all of his decisions as a writer and director. It’s an easy recommendation, especially if you enjoyed his last two films.