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Film Review: Nope (2022)

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Kelaru & Fulton rating: ★★★

Available on Prime Video | Runtime: 2hrs 10mins

 

Jordan Peele has solidified himself as a master of suspense and social commentary in this 2022 alien invasion thriller Nope. And while it may not reach the heights of ingenious originality as his previous works Get Out and Us, Nope still delivers a visually stunning, thought-provoking film laced with Peele’s trademark blend of scares and satire.

The story follows siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sister Emerald (Keke Palmer), who run a struggling horse ranch in rural California that their father originally started as a Hollywood animal wrangler business. But strange events unfold when ominous saucer-shaped clouds appear overhead, leading the siblings to suspect an alien presence. Along with tech salesman Angel (Brandon Perea), they attempt to capture evidence on film of the UFO to revive their ranch’s fortunes.

Peele takes his time revealing the alien threat, choosing instead to deliver amusing critiques poked at Hollywood opportunists and audiences’ insatiable appetite for spectacle.


But when the UFO threat finally does emerge, the film delivers truly spectacular set pieces as the spaceship haunts the skies above the ranch. The visual and sound design of the ship creates an extremely unsettling presence. Peele also implements some intense scare sequences involving the ship that will keep audiences gripped and unnerved.

Anchoring it all are fantastic performances from Kaluuya and Palmer, who both bring depth to their roles as siblings dealing with childhood trauma and their late father’s legacy. Their chemistry provides levity between frights.

While Nope doesn’t quite achieve the brilliant blend of horror and social commentary as Get Out, it comes admirably close. Peele has topped the visual spectacle of Us through the central flying saucer, while retaining his ability to weave thought-provoking themes into the sci-fi horror premise. It delivers a satisfying dose of scares, mystery, humour and visual splendour that makes for an entertaining spectacle.


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