After the monster hit that was Get Out and the divisive but successful Us, all eyes were on Nope to see if Jordan Peele was going to give audiences another great horror flick or another overly-ambitious elevated horror flick. It's safe to say Peele is here to stay, as Nope is the freaky monster movie we all hoped it was going to be. As with his previous two films, Peele gives his audience something we've never seen before, and that's exceedingly rare in the days of remakes, sequels, and nonstop blockbusters. It's nice to be surprised once in a while, especially with horror movies. Aliens have always freaked me out anyway, and his take on an alien abduction movie is wildly creative and unforgettable.
Our heroes are a brother and sister duo who run a horse ranch that rents out horses to movie sets. OJ (Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Palmer) are descended from the first man in a motion picture, a black man riding a horse in a moving image from 1878. I appreciated this connection to film history. It made the film feel grounded in reality. When OJ sees a giant UFO abduct one of their horses, he and Emerald become determined to catch video evidence of the craft. What follows is a wild cat-and-mouse game between the Haywoods and the UFO, which turns out to be something way different than we all assumed. I won't spoil it, but it's weird and new. Also, there's a whole subplot about Steven Yeun's character Jupe surviving a chimpanzee attack that was just downright horrifying.
Nope continues to prove Jordan Peele's brilliant mind for horror, from its disturbing sound design to its wildly impressive cinematography. If nothing else, it makes me even more excited to see what he's done next, as he's turned down numerous offers to helm franchise films in favor of writing and directing his own original stories. That's the mark of a unique talent, and his track record is pretty damn good so far.