When Jordan Peele’s take on alien invasion, UAPs, and animal mutilation, what can go wrong? The answer is that he won’t say Nope on what he believes is going on. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking his take may well reveal what’s going on that History Channel’s Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch is trying to uncover. Perhaps there is a sentience out there that wants to reveal itself, but it’s biding its time for when the time is right.
This filmmaker’s feature deals with more humane concerns, and it’s a rather long exposition. Despite the lengthy run time and build up to the confrontation, the scares he’s setting viewers up for are very satisfying and grim. Because this motion picture has to fully develop the characters. Any sense of whom the threat is—and what it represents as a wake-up call—doesn’t come until much later. His style is like M. Night Shyamalan’s, and the surprise is effectively good.
Thus, we can finally wonder if the Haywood family deserves their fate. Father is hurt, and the tale shifts to OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) attempting to save the farm from bankruptcy. Jupe (Steven Yeun) offers to help, but even has a past he can’t escape, and he’s the second banana who is helping the brother and sister team to deal with this alien threat.
As this movie has been reviewed to death during its theatrical run, what I’ll look at here is how this sci-fi horror film fares as a tale worth studying rather than deets on the transfer. The themes Peele plays with are very evident. We’re dealing with a world like in HBO’s Lovecraft County, where our protagonists are confronted with alienation. Brother and sister are trying to save their horse farm, but no one will give them their dues. Meanwhile, Jupe, who operates a theme park appropriately named Jupiter’s Claim, may offer a way out, but is it enough?
The deconstruction of this narrative and what the aliens represent are perfectly explored in the home video release. It’s essential viewing for those who feel lost after that first watch of Nope. Admittedly, I didn’t get a chance to see it when it was on the big screen. Also, not everyone will understand the significance of the Muybridge’s The Horse in Motion. Even with what I learned about it from my film history studies, I had to think long and hard about why this piece matters. Since it was placed first for viewers to look at, there had to be a special significance.
Although I had a different mindset when watching at this film, I found that after watching the bonus materials those more puzzling aspects about this work finally made sense. Plus, I found Peele’s narrative to be much more complex than Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
As for his idea of what kinds of unidentified flying objects can exist, it’s downright scary. Honestly, given what I know about H.P. Lovecraft’s imagination about space flight and otherworldly entities in that Star Trek: The Next Generation sense, this work certainly stands out and I wonder if a sequel can be made. Sometimes, it’s not always about the illusions, but also what entities are made of that can make the next invasion all the more chilling! I’d hate to think of our planet to get draped by them and we all get gobbled up!
The Bonus Content in the Home Video release of Nope includes:
- SHADOWS: THE MAKING OF NOPE–Unpack the meaning of NOPE with Jordan Peele. Secrets are revealed with this 56-minute immersion exploring the film’s unanswered questions, taking you on an intimate journey inside every aspect of production and offering a detailed look at Peele’s revolutionary filmmaking process.
- DELETED SCENES – Watch five unreleased scenes from NOPE
- GAG REEL – A highlight reel of bloopers and outtakes featuring main cast
- CALL HIM JEAN JACKET – The object of the Haywood siblings’ fascination is an entity known only as “Jean Jacket.” Filmmakers provide insights into the conception, design, and execution of this mysterious organism.
- MYSTERY MAN OF MUYBRIDGE – A deep dive into THE HORSE IN MOTION by Eadweard Muybridge, its relationship to the Haywoods, and how it relates to the larger themes in NOPE.