‘Nope’ is creatively disturbing horror film from creator of ‘Get Out’ and ‘Us’


Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya give excellent performances in Jordan Peele’s next disturbingly creative film.

Joseph Ferrer, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Director Jordan Peele has already proven himself as a skilled horror-film producer with 2017’s “Get Out” and 2019’s “Us” with both films providing not only scares but also intriguing commentary and themes of race and societal structure. Peele’s most recent film “Nope” continues this trend and while the concept of the movie may be more outlandish than his other two films, the strong acting  and deep messaging make it an incredibly engaging and eerie watch.  


“Nope” follows the story of siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) who help their father run the only Black-owned horse training company for Hollywood films. After their father’s mysterious death, OJ attempts to keep his father’s business afloat but struggles to maintain the legacy that his father had. However, when mysterious phenomena start to occur around the Haywood ranch and a nearby theme park owned by a previously famous child actor Jupe (Steven Yeun), the two siblings seek to not only uncover the truth behind the mystery but also profit off of the disturbingly unnatural circumstances.  


“Nope” is a film that’s best seen unspoiled, so much so that even hinting at what the actual threat of the movie is would be a disservice to how well the film sets up its plot. What makes the movie work as a horror film is how the plot slowly unravels over time as well as how it uses the mystery of its disturbing situation to further the plot. What makes “Nope” stand out is that as its questions lead to answers and reveals of truly disturbing imagery, the film’s scares aren’t done purely for shock value, but they rather serve to highlight the themes of the film. “Nope” manages to touch on a significant amount of themes in comparison to Peele’s other work, highlighting topics such as animal cruelty, the underrepresentation of people of color in media and how humans are naturally drawn toward tragedies and spectacles. While the film may seem confusing with how it highlights specific plotlines that seem unimportant to the plot at first, every element of the film serves to highlight the themes of the story and has its place in the plot.  


The performances of the film help elevate the connection to the characters of the story as well. Daniel Kaluuya already proved himself to be a phenomenal actor in “Get Out” and his performance in this film further cements that. Kaluuya’s talent manages to convey so much of his character not through direct reactions, but through silence and facial expressions. Keke Palmer’s performance provides great chemistry as well with her more lively and headstrong personality causing the two characters to feel like genuine siblings. Both characters alongside the other cast members not only provide fantastic, frightening performances during some of the film’s disturbing scenes but also manage to bring brevity to the film when needed with the banter among themselves. “Nope” is a unique horror film that will stick in viewers’ minds long after seeing it with its intriguing themes and terrifying scenarios that reveal even more about themselves after a second viewing.