A Hooked On Horror Review: Nope
I've been looking forward to this film ever since Peele first made the announcement about the film back in November 2020. For me anyway he's got a great track record with horror and now he's decided to take on something that properly scares me- aliens. I was excited to say the least. Honestly though I don't really know what to think of the film having just watched it in Odeon, Cardiff.
"Two siblings running a horse ranch in California discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above, while the owner of an adjacent theme park tries to profit from the mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon."
Right off the bat this starts slow, like really slow. Don't get me wrong the build-up and little glimpses of the aliens we did have were expertly done, but when Peele hit the audience with the payoff/twist I can't say whether or not it did much for me. I will admit it did throw me and I didn't see it coming but I felt he went in the wrong direction. I would've liked if he stuck with the old school sci-fi horror movies vibe I felt he was building towards in the first half of the film.
Peele did well regarding the narrative and character development throughout, but ye I just would've preferred something else. Cast were great, I lived Daniel Kaluuya's character. Loved the fact Peele got horror royalty Keith David involved as well, even if the part was reasonably small. Keke Palmer's Emerald, I did find incredibly annoying first half of the film, but I'll admit I warmed up to her by the end of it.
Steven Yeun was good (as always), although I would've liked to have seen more surrounding his character. You could easily do a film around that character and his gruesome backstory. The flashback scenes for his character will stick with you and leave a lasting effect long after the credits roll. There are a few scenes and set pieces during the film that really stand out. Just top-notch film making and putting a real sense of fear and dread into the audience. It did give me chills several times throughout.
Nope is wonderfully shot with some incredible cinematography. Honestly, I would urge everyone to go watch it in IMAX so they can fully appreciate the hard work that went into the film. The effects were great, and the design of the film’s creatures were magnificent, rather majestic and other worldly. The whole story of them using a cloud to hide in plain sight was probably one of the things I loved most. Actually, it is terrifying if you stop to think about it for a minute. I'll be keeping a closer eye in them clouds going forward!
With the main themes of this film being Hollywood exploitation and respect, Peele expertly tackles them with ease. The scenes featuring Gordy well and truly steal the show despite a reasonably solid film. I can sort of see this one splitting fans again, like some of his previous films. I can see why people will like or dislike this film. Me on the other hand, I'm kind of on the fence with it. I didn't dislike it in anyway, there was a lot of elements I thoroughly enjoyed...but I wouldn't rush back to watch it again. Maybe a re-watch later may change my feelings towards it, but for now Peele's best is still his 2017 film Get Out.
Nope is in cinemas now.