Nope (2022)

Nope (2022) Cover

Nope is Jordan Peele at his most terrifying, using genuine fear and panic in a way he never has before. Bombarding the audience with discomfort over what may be around the next corner, Nope relentlessly pushes viewers to the edge and holds them there right up until it is ready for the final conflict. The acting, music, and cinematography are all excellent; but the directing is what elevates this film from a creature feature to stunning horror.

Daniel Kaluuya plays Otis Junior, a struggling rancher who lacks the talent and passion of his late father. Talent and passion which are needed to continue the family business. In the midst of trying to maintain the ranch as it steadily crashes, an otherworldly force invades the lives of everyone connected to the local area. Otis Junior and his sister Emerald Haywood (portrayed by Keke Palmer) attempt to capitalize on the powerful force invading their lives via a scheme to capture something extraordinary on video.

Fans of Jordan Peele may wonder how Nope compares to his previous work, and the answer is that it really doesn't. Nope is fresh territory. While both Get Out and Us successfully explored horror as a genre, diving into the deep discomforts of humanity, Nope is scary. I was on the edge of my seat as things crept at the edge of my vision and Peele's craftsmanship had me terrified to find what they are and what they want with us.

Everything builds up the core themes of the film. It's present in the side stories and bound together by the music and the performances from the talented cast. Fans of Daniel Kaluuya will get every bit of the skill that we have come to expect from him. However, standing next to Daniel, Keke Palmer (a great talent in her own right) gives a career-defining performance filled with a type of energy that you can't look away from.

The overall effect of Nope recalls that of summer blockbusters from another era, the kind that suck you in and crank up everything to eleven. You feel the tension from Nope in your bones despite its generally quiet tone. You get pulled into the screen the same way that you would in the years when Spielberg was creating his best work. It's a pleasure to watch as Jordan Peele evolves into a director who will help define the next generation of horror even as he reminds us of those who came before him. This is a must-watch and an absolute joy.

Final Verdict:A captivating work that both terrifies and awes and is a must watch.