“Nope,” January 14,2023 (2022), DVD. I’m a big fan of Jordan Peele’s humor and was blown away by his first major screen writing/directing debut, “Get Out!”. I loved it, which really surprised me because I’m not fond of horror genre stuff. I’m still working on “Us” but decided to tackle “Nope,” his third film, first. I’m glad I did as, to my great surprise, I really liked this despite some reviews that found it too slow to develop.
This one is quite a bit more politically opaque than his first. It tells a story of Hollywood, race, and horror. The first actual movie, the jockey on the horse, featured a Black jockey. We know who the horse is but not the jockey. The film gives us that ‘answer’ in his ‘descendants,’ the Haywoods, a family of horse wranglers for the film industry.
Into their lives and land comes an unknown but lethal entity who kills the pater familias. As OJ, his son, (an excellent Daniel Kaluuya), takes over, he calls in his sister Emerald (Keke Palmer), a much wilder but equally strong-willed presence. Others, and especially a former child actor with his own horror back story (Stephen Yuen), try to make the entity work for him by ‘feeding the beast,’ but it takes folks who know animals like the Haywoods to know when one should not look an animal in the eyes. The siblings work with two folks (Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott)—both obsessed in their own ways, one a tech geek, the other a photographer, to try to capture film to make their fortune. But this is a wild ride.
Like I said, I really enjoyed this, but being in the belly of the beast is not easy even if it is, as Che said, the place to be to fight for change.
Once again, the DVD special features on the making of the film were very interesting.