Movie Review: ‘Nope’ another Jordan Peele classic

Somebody needs to stop Peele before he puts every other horror filmmaker out of business



“Nope” had areas it could improve on, but Peele has nonetheless proved his horror prowess once again.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

This review of Jordan Peele’s latest entry into the cinematic “Nope,” will not be spoiler free. Take this time to go to your local theater and pick up an extra large popcorn with butter. This is your spoiler warning

(It is OK, I will just wait here until you come back.)

For those of you peeking past that spoiler warning, this is your last chance before there is no return from spoilers. 

The internet warned me that Peele’s latest film, “Nope,” was going to be another horror movie. This was not offputting in the least, as Peele is renowned for coming up with innovative horror movies that push the boundary of fright with meaning. 

That being said, it is hard for me to classify the movie as strictly horror. When push comes to shove, I would probably slot it under thriller. 

Do not get me wrong, parts of it were certainly scary. 

There is a scene where it is completely silent over the house; it is horrifying in its own right, but it was not enough for me to be actually scared. 

The bloody chimp scenes are an exception, but we will get to those. 

At the end of the day, “Nope” falls under the traditional problem that horror movies face – showing the actual monster. The confusion of not knowing what was going on and not knowing the rules of the universe seemed to increase the fright level, but it dropped heavily once the audience knew the stakes. 

I will not lie and say it was not disappointing for this to occur, as when Peele is attempting to set up the disturbing and unknown during this movie he does an amazing job. Furthermore, his new take on UFOs (making it the alien itself) was genuinely a refreshing take. 

But to a certain point in the movie, it stopped getting scarier and just got weird. It is a Catch-22 of horror movies that Peele has broken out of more than a few times with “Us” and “Get Out,” so I was disappointed when “Nope” did not have the same feel. 

This criticism goes out the door for the chimp scenes, however. 

Interspersed throughout the story we are taken along a flashback with Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park and his days as a child actor with a chimp. After an incident sets off Gordy the Chimp, he goes on a rampage, killing his human costars. 

These scenes were the genuine article and really what sold the scare factor of the movie. Throughout these scenes, the audience felt a sense of dread and unease that was better than any other part of the actual movie. 

Peele does what he did best during these chimp shots – layered meaning that applied to the main story. 

As the movie took us through the struggling cinematic horse ranch owned now by Otis Jr. and Emerald, the audience is better connected to their plight and what an impact filming the alien would make on their lives due to that depth of meaning. 

The acting was also very enjoyable – by far one of the best parts of the movie. Daniel Kaluuya – now a Peele regular – and Keke Palmer are wonderful leads. The movie accomplishes a true sibling relationship like few movies are actually able to do, showing the great acting chemistry between Kaluuya and Palmer. 

“Nope” does not skimp on the side character either. The trifecta of Steven Yeun as Ricky Park, Michael Wincott as Antlers Holst and Brandon Perea as Angel Torres tied the movie together well. No actor detracted from the performance of the others, and the result was a wonderful sense of interaction throughout the cast. 

Peele continues to put out enjoyable movies that make paying the extra couple of dollars to see the film in theaters worth it. 

Is “Nope” my favorite movie of his? Probably not, but it is certainly one that I plan to watch again and would recommend to anyone needing a good movie. 

If I could change anything I would have delayed or minimized actually showing the monster or explaining the rules of its hunting patterns, but at the end of the day, I still enjoyed it for what it was. 

For those who majestically skipped down to the end, or plowed right through the spoiler warning, I would happily recommend giving “Nope” a try.