Jordan Peele’s “NOPE:” Don’t look up at the clouds

Illustration by Madison Cohen

Jordan Peele's third film, “NOPE,” starring Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun and Keke Palmer, is your perfect thriller of the season — or should I say sci-fi film of the season? 

“NOPE” tells the story of a sibling duo residing on their inherited horse-training ranch in Agua Dulce. The horses are destined for Hollywood. 

The talented Daniel Kaluuya plays his role as horse-trainer OJ, with co-star Keke Palmer as his sister, Emerald. Steven Yeun portrays the role of Ricky Park, who was a child actor, the owner of an Old Western theme park and the Hollywood connection the siblings need.

The movie starts with a disturbing and graphic skit of an old, live audience show, “Gordy the Chimp,” starring a chimpanzee named Gordy and a family. Gordy appears to have gone wild and is covered in blood on a live audience stage. 

Later in the movie, the screen cuts back to the extended version of the graphic rampage. The segment is titled,  ‘Gordy’s Birthday.’ It starts with the opening of his gifts and ends in a killing spree of the skit’s [family] cast.

At the end of the graphic scene, the movie reveals that one of the witnesses of the horrid incident is young actor Ricky Park.

The sci-fi genre is revealed when the sibling duo is abruptly struck by supernatural happenings at their ranch. The lights go out sporadically, the horses become disturbed randomly and bullet-like objects shoot down from the clouds. 

Fitting for its title, the word ‘nope’ is repeatedly said among the stars whenever something strange happens. 

Jordan Peele does an amazing job at writing lovable characters. Emerald wins the audience over right away with her barefaced personality along with her movie sibling, OJ, in his fearless role and Ricky with his mysterious and standoffish persona. 

Peele, actor and filmmaker, is known for his comedic and thriller-filled films. Peele wrote movies such as “GET OUT,” “Us” and the rebooted show, “The Twilight Zone,” etc. Many also know Peele from his role on Mad TV. The comedic series is referenced in “NOPE,” and leaves viewers of the film with easter eggs throughout. 

Further into the movie, security cameras are installed on the ranch. On the cameras, the first indications of an unknown creature presents itself. The footage shows a cloud that doesn’t pass along the other passing clouds. Although the siblings had encounters with what seemed to look like a UFO before seeing the footage, they were still confused and possibly in denial. Once seeing the footage, the sibling duo concludes that a UFO disguised itself as a frozen cloud. 

To avoid any spoilers, after the UFO ordeal that the characters encounter, the end of the movie shows Emerald getting her shot at stardom on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and OJ riding off on his horse in his orange hoodie. 

Peele’s “GET OUT,” is one of my favorite horror movies to watch. The storyline is extremely engaging, unsettling and comedic all at the same time, much like many of his other films. That being said, my expectations for “NOPE” were extremely high. Needless to say, the film reached those expectations and had my jaw dropping every 10 minutes. Jordan Peele outdid himself once again.

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