(and yes, spoiler alert)
Jordan Peele’s latest horror instalment aims to both entrance and terrify audiences, while getting reliably complex in his themes and meanings. And, while it’s definitely really fucking scary, it’s also a swoony love letter to cinema.
Nope follows two professional horse-handlers, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, who attempt to catch the “money shot” of a UFO, after one begins to terrorise the sky above them. It’s got a real Jaws-y vibe, as the creature above stalks them from above, and the quality of the spooks is unquestionable. Nope is also Peele’s most beautiful film to date. The cinematography from Hoyte van Hoytema is hypnotising. He captures the long plains of the ranch, the dizzying flight of the UFO, and bloody elements of horror as heightened spectacle. Peele utilises these awe-inspiring and shudder-inducing shots to interrogate the line between spectacle and exploitation too, fulfilling those hefty expectations of audiences.
Just like Get Out and Us, there’s endless meaning to be derived from Peele’s narrative allegories. And that’s probably the most exciting thing about his work as a director. It’s not only the spooks that have us coming back, but the critique he posits through the spooks as well.
You’ll want to look away, but find yourself transfixed.