LH Movie Review: NOPE

Jordan Peele’s new unique horror sci fi is terror inducing, instead of horrifying.


Naomi Hemley, Editor

Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated film, NOPE, is a shocking experience. It manages to leave you terrified without the film being super gorey. The film is a beautiful statement about the relationship between humans and animals and bad miracles. NOPE starts off with young Ricky “Jupe” Park, played by Steven Yeun, a child actor starring in a 90’s sitcom. NOPE jumps into a terrifying scene where a monkey named Gordy who stars in the show, mauls Ricky’s on screen parents to death and his onscreen sister to the brink of death as Jupe hides under a table, unharmed but terrified. Gordy reaches a hand to Jupe, not in a threatening way, but to make a fist bump. Before their hands touch, Gordy is shot dead by authorities.


The film then jumps to Otis Junior “OJ” Haywood and his father’s horse ranch in Agua Dulce, California. When OJ’s father is mysteriously killed by a quarter falling from the sky and lodging itself in his brain, OJ doesn’t believe that his death was caused by natural causes. This causes him and his sister Emerald to find out that there is an alien hiding in the clouds above their ranch. Instead of being terrified, they use this as an opportunity for fame to save their ranch. Their plan is to get undeniable proof of the alien so that they can become famous, even if it means risking their lives in the process.


The ways in which the characters in NOPE act and the decisions they make are unique and no matter how unreasonable the audience might think they are, each decision they make has an underlying reason. Jupe’s decisions are also questionable, but they can all be tied back to the childhood trauma he experienced and how he gained a feeling of self entitlement after the incident. Instead of fearing this terrifying creature, he thinks he is special and can tame the beast. He thinks he has a special bond with the alien just as he did with Gordy. This cockiness leads to his, and many others, deaths.


In the second act, the movie focuses on OJ and Em’s attempts to get evidence of the alien. They attempt to capture evidence by installing security cameras and when that doesn’t work, they resort to using inflatable dancers as bait. When their big plan fails, the movie ends off with an ambiguous ending, and all of Em and OJ’s efforts being for nothing.

NOPE has an incredible cast that really makes the movie. The sound design is hair raising and unique and the vagueness of the horror in the movie instills you with terror. The ending leaves you with a bittersweet feeling and the uncertainty of what is real and what isn’t is what makes the movie a worthwhile watch.